The Pool Is Open
by Alex Brooks
Hoosick Town Supervisor Mark Surdam said the concrete work at the pool is finished, the Bath House renovation project has been completed, and all the pump motors which failed a month ago have been replaced. The Rensselaer County Health Department inspected all of this and issued the permit for the pool to open.
The Town Summer Camp opened the day of the meeting, on Monday July 9. The number of children attending is up this year. The first week of camp is full, with the maximum number of 60 kids, and the second week will be nearly full, with 57 now signed up.
There is one remaining problem with the Bath House, and it has been a vexatious one. A section of waste pipe that was not replaced during the recent renovation has been clogging up and causing backups. Aqua-Waste has been called in twice to jet it out, and the problem has re-occurred. Despite running a camera into the pipe to diagnose it, the exact cause of the problem remains unclear. Surdam said he thinks it is a deteriorated or broken section of pipe and it may have to be dug up and replaced. He said in hindsight he wished replacement of that pipe had been included in the Bathhouse renovation project.
The Board also approved at this meeting the installation of four more security cameras for the playground and the basketball court, at a cost of $1700 for installation, and a $40 per month maintenance fee. These are wireless cameras, because they are too far away from the base unit to run on wires as the other five cameras do now.
The Board also approved replacement of existing pole lights at the pool and playground area with LED lights. This would greatly improve the lighting and cost less for electricity because the LED lights are more efficient. The proposal from J.A. Bradley electrical contractors was for $3,700.
The Board also approved an upgrade to door locks in the pool area at a cost of $711 to improve security and get multiple doors on one key.
Cottrell Road Bridge Highway Superintendent Bill Shiland said his engineer has provided him with a plan for a temporary repair for the Cottrell Road Bridge, which has been closed for a month or so. He said his crew will be doing the repair work, which will then be inspected by State engineers. He hopes to get the bridge open again in a few weeks.
He said he expects the bridge will be one-way and will be posted for 16,000 pounds maximum load when it reopens. He emphasized that this is just a temporary fix. The Town has submitted an application for funding from the BridgeNY program for replacement of the bridge. Awards under that program will be announced at the end of the summer. He said if the Town does not get funds this year from BridgeNY, there will probably be ongoing problems with that bridge.
Pool Costs At public comment time Kevin Allard called attention to the recently determined fact that the overall annual deficit for pool operations is about $55,000, and urged the Town to take steps to reduce that deficit, either by finding ways to cut operating costs or finding ways to raise more revenue. The Board acknowledged that the pool deficit is something they would like to address, but didn’t go into it at this meeting. Apparently the cost of running the pool has been rising over time, as there are a lot of State and County requirements for safe pool operation, and the cost of labor and materials used in pool operations has risen.
Ice Rink Bill Ward, Director of Hockey for Hoosac School, attended the Town Board meeting, and expressed on behalf of the School great enthusiasm for the redevelopment of the ice rink with refrigeration and building improvements using a grant of approximately $1 million that the Town has been awarded.
He said the school is willing to pay substantially more than it is currently paying for ice time in order to make this happen, and have home ice near the school. He said Hoosac Headmaster Dean Foster is “working on some things” to help make this happen, but Ward said he was not able to speak about those things and Foster would contact the Town for further discussion. Surdam said, “We need that information sooner rather than later,” apparently because he needs to communicate the Town’s plans to the grant funders under some kind of deadline. The Town hired a consultant last winter to do a feasibility study on the ice rink redevelopment, and the report was very pessimistic about the rink ever breaking even.
Surdam and the Board are wary of creating another recreational facility (in addition to the pool) that will cost the Town a substantial sum of money to operate each year. Surdam is continuing discussions with Hoosac School to see if they can take a significant role in operation of the rink which would protect the Town from a large annual expense.
Planning Board Chair Surdam announced that Penny Acree has submitted her resignation as Planning Board Chairman. He said Acree is heavily involved with the Youth Center and the Country Club and needed to lighten her load of volunteer work. He said she did a great job as Planning Board Chair and thanked her for her service to the Town. The Board appointed Ken Lorenz as the new Planning Board Chairman.
Workshops The Board is working on laws for solar installations, sign regulations, and noise control. It has been discussing these laws off and on for quite some time, but has not arrived at a final version of any of them. It scheduled a workshop for Tuesday July 24 at 6 pm to discuss these proposed laws.
Mountain View Way A number of residents of Mountain View Way were present at this meeting. They asked the Town to take over their road last month, and came back this month to hear the Town’s response. Surdam said he had gone up there to look at it, and said, “I didn’t think it was that bad.” But he said the Town’s policy is to accept roads only after they have been brought up to Town specifications. He said, “you guys need to take the bull by the horns and get a report done that shows how you will bring that road up to specs, whose land it would need to encroach on, and how much it’s going to cost.” He said such a report would probably need to be done by an engineer. He said Cornell has a local roads program that might be able to help, and suggested they look into that.
Investigation of PFOA Hot Spots Surdam said he has met with DEC engineers Ian Beilby and Barbara Firebaugh, who are charged with investigating about 40 sites around the Town of Hoosick that have been reported as possible sites where PFOA-laden materials may have been dumped. They have already sent out some letters to property owners requesting access to areas of concern, and they are asking the town to provide information about road history and where ditching material may have been dumped.
Town Clerk Town Clerk Holli Cross said she is seeking to set up a second workstation in the Town Clerk’s office so that during busy times Assistant Town Clerk Ginny Blinstrub can work at the same time as Cross is working. Cross said she had priced a computer system at $940. Surdam said he thought that was included in the budget and Cross could proceed to set up the new workstation. Cross also described progress on getting the Town set up to accept credit cards.
In other news: • The Southshire Roller Derby group asked permission to hold roller derby events at the Town ice rink on August 18 and September 22, and had some discussion with the Board about these events. Details are to be worked out later, but the Board seemed agreeable to the proposal.
Surdam said he has been notified that there is a lot of garbage that has been left on the beach next to the Hoosick River at a spot known locally as “The Rock Cuts,” which is off Route 22 just north of Route 7. This is a lovely sandy beach next to the river that is often used for Sunday picnics and the like, which apparently has been overused and misused lately, and Surdam said it is a mess. He said some local people had asked him if they got some volunteers together to pick up the garbage, could they dump it without charge at the transfer station.
He said he had been meaning to ask Village officials if that would be OK, but hadn’t gotten around to it. He said he would pursue it and try to get the beach cleaned up. He said the volume of garbage was perhaps a pickup truck load or two.