Amid change, Altamont digs in

ALTAMONT — After weeks spent by village residents defending their elementary school and celebrating a local, longtime farmer, the village board Tuesday quietly put to bed its completed wastewater treatment plant and began investigating the creation of a new village seal for Village Hall.

Trustee Christine Marshall served as liaison for the wastewater treatment plant project that was completed last year. Mayor James Gaughan said that Marshall would be issuing her final report on the plant’s improvement at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The project finished under budget at a cost of $3.5 million, village engineer Richard Straut, of Barton & Loguidice, said last year.

“Glitches” with machinery installed in the new plant have been resolved over the last few months, Marshall said this week. Village engineers, the machinery manufacturers, and village staff worked together over several months to fix the problems, she said.

“The kinks have been worked out, or are about to be worked out,” she said. “The project has been a success in terms of achieving what we wanted to achieve. It’s operating well.”

Change

Gaughan said that the Guilderland Central School District’s consideration of closing Altamont Elementary has been unsettling for residents, and he does not support the closure of the school.

He called the school “a critical piece” of why residents chose to live in the village, and said that its closure would have “horrible effects on our village. It will affect the entire district.”

He said that discussion is continuing about the possible closure.

“I’m confident that things will work out in the end,” Gaughan said.

Marking time

Local farmer Everett Rau, 94, was celebrated last week in the community room behind Village Hall during the first of several sessions to both film and document the history of his Pleasant View Farm, on Lainhart Road. His property has been farmed since 1799. For his celebratory interviews, a small village sign dated 2014 was placed on the broad wall of the community room.

Gaughan told The Enterprise that, after finding that the sign was relatively inexpensive, the board may soon investigate costs to create a village seal to place on the wall. 

After the community room was built a decade ago, the village board moved its meetings there and left the former smaller room in Village Hall solely to the justice court. The board now meets in front of the empty broad wall.

The seal would be similar to those found in other municipal board rooms, Gaughan said, and would include the date of Altamont’s incorporation. The village, previously known as Knowersville, was incorporated with the name Altamont in 1890.

Other business

In recent business, the village board:

— Agreed to address overgrown brush on the corner of Main and Grand streets;

— Approved a contract for renewal of liability insurance from Marshall & Sterling for an amount up to $40,535. Village Clerk Patty Blackwood said that the insurance cost went up no more than $1,700 from the previous contract;

— Approved a request by Phil Carducci to hold the annual Altamont 5K Run/Walk in the village on Aug. 23 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and

— Noted that the village board will not meet until September.

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