Preparing For Pool And Summer Camp Season
By Alex Brooks
At the Hoosick Town Board meeting April 9, Town Supervisor Mark Surdam said the renovation of the Bathhouse at the Town Pool is “well underway” and may be as much as halfway done. The project is expected to be completed in May. The Board approved another progress payment to the contractor, for work done in March, of $61,915.48. The contractor, Bonacquisti Brothers, submitted a bid to replace some of the concrete around the bath house that has become tilted, which was not included in the original contract. The Board did not accept the bid, though, because they determined that local concrete contractors could do the work for significantly less money.
The Board also approved the pay scale for staff at the pool and summer camp, which is pretty much the same as last year except pay at the bottom end of the scale had to be raised to meet the new State minimum wage of $10.20 per hour.
Rachel Green was appointed Manager of the Town of Hoosick Summer Camp, and Tyler Lindsey was appointed Assistant Camp Manager. Janet Davendonis was appointed Pool Manager and Tyler Rondeau Assistant Pool Manager. Katherine Danforth was appointed Water Safety Instructor (swim lesson) Coordinator.
Bill Hanselman asked how much the pool and summer camp cost the Town each year. Supervisor Surdam said he did not know that number by heart but he would get those figures and distribute them to the Board. Hanselman also suggested that the Board take a look at pool staffing to see if it is being handled efficiently.
Final Steps For Reval
Town Assessor Tony Rice said the informal reviews for the Revaluation project were finished March 30. 270 properties were reviewed during the informal review process. Rice said letters stating the results of the informal reviews will be going out May 1. May 22 is Grievance Day for those who want to formally challenge their assessment, whether or not they participated in the informal review process. The Final Roll will be submitted to New York State and Rensselaer County on July 1, and the new values will used for the September 2018 school taxes and the January 2019 Town taxes.
PFOA Executive Session
The Board scheduled a special meeting to discuss responses received from local residents to the questionnaire that the Town sent out last fall concerning PFOA issues, and to review legal issues concerning PFOA and the Town’s stance in relation to PFOA issues. The meeting will be held on Monday April 23 at 6 pm, but it will be an executive session with the Town’s attorneys because the Town’s legal strategy will be a central topic.
Fox Hollow Road
Residents of Foxhollow Road spoke to the Board again, demanding to know when their road will be fixed. Town Highway Superintendent Bill Shiland said he will patch the road as soon as the blacktop plant opens and he plans to work on the ditches throughout the season whenever he has the men and equipment available. But he said he does not expect to be able to pave the road this year. This did not please the residents, who said “patching it is not a solution,” and asked why it can’t be paved this year. Shiland said this is not the only road in town that needs work and he has not decided yet where this year’s CHIPS money will be used. He said the Town usually paves about a mile of road each year and chip-seals several more miles. Residents said they have waited for decades for their road to be properly paved and since it is slightly less than a mile, it could be done with this year’s CHIPS money. Shiland was not prepared to commit to that, which brought forth more speeches about how bad the road is and how urgently it needs to be fixed. Residents said truckers sometimes refuse to deliver things down that road, and spoke of sprained ankles, a bicycle crash, and damage to their vehicles’ front ends. Supervisor Mark Surdam said although the Town can’t commit to a complete rebuild this year, he acknowledged that the road is bad and he said the Town will make it a priority to improve it. “We will work with you on it,” he concluded.
Bill Hanselman and Jerry McAuliffe each reported on their visits to the North Hoosick Fire Department and the Hoosick Fire Department and were very impressed with how much time and effort go into running those departments. They said the training and the paperwork involved is very extensive and the commitment of the volunteer firefighters is impressive.
The Board approved paying its annual contribution to the North Hoosick Fire Department’s Service Reward Program Trust Fund in the amount of $21,323.69. It also approved payments of $700 to each of 5 firefighters from the NHFD who are eligible for Service Awards for this year.
Eric Sheffer reported that Barbara Sussman has reached out to the Galerie St. Etienne on 57th Street in NYC, which controls the rights to Grandma Moses images, in a letter asking them to waive the usual fee to have a Grandma Moses image on the welcome signs at the edge of town. Sheffer also said Spectrum has been making progress stringing cable in the West Hills of Hoosick, but is apparently not keeping pace with their own predictions for completion dates.
In other business:
• Surdam said he has spoken to several people that he had in mind to replace Emily Sanders as the Town Bookkeeper when she resigns on July 1, but has had no luck. He said he will begin advertising the position. Several people stressed the importance of hiring a bookkeeper who is a CPA.
• Surdam noted some upcoming community events: HAYC3’s Annual Village Cleanup and Village-wide tag sale will take place Saturday April 21, 9 am to 1 pm, in partnership with Saint-Gobain; the Lions Club will hold its 33rd Annual Wood Memorial 5K Race on Saturday, May 19.
• Town Historian Phil Leonard talked about the history of the State Line House on Route 67. He showed a large picture of the State Line Speedway, where stock car races were held in the 1950s, with a grandstand holding 3,000 people, and the house in the background. He said that track was a horse track before it was set up for auto racing. He also presented a well-researched paper written by Corinne Eldred tracing the history of the building.