HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The Village of Hoosick Falls Board of Trustees approved the land acquisition from Pan Am Railroad for the Hoosic River Greenway at its regular meeting on Tuesday night. Reports and old business also revealed several announcements and village updates.
Members of the Hoosic River Greenway Committee, Paula Kamperman and Margaret Casey appealed their offer from Pan Am to the village board to acquire the last piece of track required to finish the greenway.
The one-mile strip of track would extend the pathway north and connect an additional access point on Sewer Plant Road.
No village money is required for the acquisition, but the committee needed the board's approval to move forward with the purchase for $5,000.
The committee's two original grants were extended past their 5-year lifespan because the remainder of the available money went unused. That money will cover the purchase and the closing costs.
The trustees approved the acquisition unanimously, and the track will be converted into a pathway within the next year.
A kiosk will be built at the southern end of the Greenway trail and signs for the northern part of the trail will be installed this fall.
The police report revealed that the village police department has been issued 13 new 36-frequency portable radios and a base station radio that are now in service, and four mobile units that have yet to arrive. Those radios were awarded to the police through a $60,000 county grant.
"These things are a great access to us," said Police Chief Robert Ash. "They work fantastic inside the building. There are a few bugs to work out and the county is trying to work them out This can help us keep in better touch with the state police, the sheriffs, and now the Bennington PD and the Bennington County Police. No longer will we have to call them to keep in contact."
The police put on a two-day active shooting training at one of the schools earlier this month, which Ash said many residents had questions over. It was the first in a number of active shooting and emergency training events that will take place over the next few months in coordination with the Schenectady, N.Y. Police Department.
"On the first night of our training, two of our officers were called away for an active suicide with possible weapons inside, and worked right in with the training that we had going on," Ash said. "This active shooting training is pretty intense, for eight hours (a day), and how we are going to go into a building and deal with a situation that there could possibly be an active shooter.
Additional training days will take place at the senior center, all village schools including Hoosac and other public buildings. They may take place quarterly for other emergency response teams in the area. The Red Cross of Rensselaer County and the local fire departments and rescue squads have been invited to join.
"Why do we need to pay attention to what is going on outside the village and at these schools? It's going to be our kids and our citizens there. We are looking at 45 minutes to an hour for backups from the state police," Ash said. "We are closest; we are going to be called to go; we need to be trained; and we need to be prepared."
Chief Ash said he's confident his officers will be able to handle those situations, but needs to prepare them mentally and emotionally for any possible emergency response situation.
The next drill will be coordinated at the Hoosick Falls Central School sometime in September. That event will be publicized.
The code enforcement report revealed that Fearrara's Pub and Restaurant has been acquired and the owner has sought out the proper permits to start gutting the building from fire damage. The owners have not completely disclosed what the plans for the building are, but the space will still be commercial.
Also, fire and smoke damage at the Hoosick Falls Country Club Restaurant is being taken care of. Food and liquor safety issues are being addressed by inventorying and properly disposing of everything, restoring structures and walls that have been damaged by smoke, and preparing to install new kitchen equipment. The owners and managers are still working out a deal with the business' insurance company.
In old business, the village trustees announced progress on the vacancies for the planning board and zoning board. Appointments will be made during the September board meeting.
An update on the Snow Street water main revealed that there is currently $45,000 budgeted for the repair, which would take three weeks. Snow Street residents are currently experiencing low water pressure as a result from an outdated main.
The board is however considering holding off the necessary update to the main until next year. The village had to borrow $185,000 for unanticipated situations with village water and sewer this year. Mayor David Borge said the board could either use the $45,000 to lower the loan amount and thus the accruing interest, or could move forward with the Snow Street update.
The board will vote on which option it will take during the September meeting. If they move forward with the main update, construction will be planned for late September or October.
* Monolith Solar and National Grid announced that the solar panels at the sewer plant will be online soon, and the town will start drawing a percentage of that electricity through their power purchase agreement. A tree blocking the panels on the village offices is set to be taken down this month.
* Route 22 crosswalks will be scheduled to be repainted within the next month.
* The property at 1 Mechanic St. is seeing its request for proposal go out to bid at the county level this month.
* The new village signs that document the "home of Grandma Moses" will arrive within the next month and be put up shortly after.
* The Community Band is holding concerts on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3 to make up dates that were rained out.
* The next Hoosick Rising meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the HAYC3 Armory.
* The Wild Barbeque event to benefit the Agricultural Stewardship Association is scheduled for Aug, 27 at 6 p.m. at Brown's Brewery retail location at 50 Factory Hill Road in North Hoosick.
The next village board meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the village offices, 24 Main St. To learn more, visit www.villageofhoosickfalls.com.
Contact Tom Momberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg