by Doug La Rocque
Since what has been described as the 100-year storm occurred on July 1, 2017, the Woods Brook and in particular where it passes through the Village has been in front of the Hoosick Falls Board of Trustees nearly every meeting since. The Trustees’ Tuesday, September 13 meeting was no exception.
The vast majority of the clean-up work is done and the Village voted earlier this year to erect fencing for both safety and aesthetic concerns. Along Hall Street that is complete, but at 107/115 Main Street, not so much. The NYS grant that pays for the Woods Brook clean-up was set to expire soon, but has been extended with a requirement for more information concerning the fencing.
Mayor Rob Allen has recently met with the NYS Department of Conservation, their consultant, Codes Enforcement Officer Mark Surdam, and Highway Superintendent Niel Stowell, where four different scenarios were presented as to what would happen in the Village if another major storm were to occur. As conditions presently stand, a storm of a 10-year magnitude would cause some flooding, more so with a 50-year storm, and once again, significant flooding on another 100-year storm. Some of DEC’s proposed fixes would include the removal of a structure at 20 Elm Street and the Dodge Building on Church Street. Mayor Allen used a PowerPoint presentation to highlight the study and more discussions are planned.
Following presentations from Civicure and the Hoosick Rescue Squad, the Trustees voted to approve $10,000 each for the organizations from their American Rescue Plan monies. The Village received their second installment of funds in July and continues to discuss where to best allocate it. They have until 2024 to spend the money following federal guidelines.
The Trustees voted to authorize Mayor Allen to sign a Professional Services agreement with RealTerm Energy to perform an Industrial Grade Audit of the current street lights and what could be saved by switching to LED lighting. This involves only the lighting elements themselves, not the poles or current fixtures. It is estimated the Village could save over one million dollars over 20 years.
Looking for a New Police Chief
The Trustees have finished their deliberations on the specifications surrounding the Village Police Chief’s position. One of the changes made is to transition the post to full-time. The former Chief Bob Ashe resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to a misconduct charge.
The help wanted sign is also out for two to three part-time Officers, a full-time Laborer, a Motor Equipment Operator Light for the DPW, as well as Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals members.
Other News and Notes
The Trustees agreed to provide funding for the NY Forward committee to hire a consultant to finish the grant application. Two to three thousand dollars is the cost. The grant, if approved, would provide monies for downtown restoration projects. The restoration of the Grandma Modes mural is scheduled to start soon. Work on the southern end of the Greenway project is held up until some boundary line issues can be resolved. Repairs for the 59 Church Street roof have gone to bid but none have been received so far. Three new local laws are in the works involving Outdoor Dining, the discharging of firearms within the Village and a Noise Ordinance. The firearms law was sparked by a recent incident involving a rapid fire weapon being used perhaps too close to other structures and the apparent loophole in current regulations. There was no criminal intent in the firing of the weapon.