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Village Officials Put Hold on Winter Market

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 12/4/23 | 12/4/23

By Liz Page

STAMFORD – Plans for a winter market at Churchill Gym are on hold for the time being as officials for the village of Stamford work to find the funding to replace the building's boiler and developed a strategy for grant funding during their workshop meeting on Nov. 7.

Trustees approved funding to advertise for vendors for a winter market at Churchill Gym last month, but the boiler is not doing well, and the idea of collecting money for vendor spaces is dashed as trustees put the winter market idea on hold for this year.

Mayor Robert Schneider wanted to move ahead with the market plan last month as a way of helping to pay for the upkeep of the building, purchased from the school district. There are possibilities for renting the space and utilizing it for various events to make it self-sustaining, but not immediately.

Grant submissions to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation were due Nov. 30. On the list is the operating budget for the new swimming pool, replacing the boiler at Churchill Gym and cost of engineering report for the Churchill building.  

According to Mayor Schneider, the cost of operating the new pool is $100,000 per year, $23,000 more than the annual operating costs of the old pool. There was also a cost overrun on the pool construction. Trustees  agreed to make a decision of whether to apply for reimbursement at their next meeting. A request was made by Josh Burroughs, pool supervisor, in his final report, for new lifeguard chairs more appropriate to the new pool and other  miscellaneous items. Trustees decided to have the mayor contact  Burroughs to write a grant for the new chairs and the other items included in the annual operating budget.

Trustee Jim Kopp reported he was working on the music grant. Last year he asked for $6,800 for the music program and received $5,000. He reported last month that the program was highly successful and is receiving interest and support from private benefactors. It drew in more than 1,200 people over the summer.

In further discussion of the Churchill building, it was determined that Calia, along with trustees Kopp and Darran Hanway will go over the building conditions report supplied by the school to figure out which items need the most attention.  Other issues discussed included the structural foundation and the roof over the gym.  New lighting is something Hanway is already working on and will be little cost to the village. 

Replacement of the bridge on River Street will require the village to appoint a three person committee to select an engineer for the project. The village will seek Requests for Proposals for engineering.  Committee members must be stakeholders, such as village residents or business owners. If the committee chooses an engineer not on the state Department of Transportation list, they must provide an explanation to DOT for why that engineer was chosen. Trustees also discussed the time period for the process of getting an engineer placed on the DOT list. 

As presented last month, trustees approved the hiring of an attorney to collect unpaid taxes for the village.

The village is also looking toward the next phase of a water project. Mayor Schneider reported he had spoken to Mary Chappell from Municipal Solutions and she is optimistic the village will be eligible for grants to complete the remainder of the water lines not done in the first phase. She has recommended G & G and trustees approved G&G which will require a down payment of $4,190 to complete an income survey. The down payment will be made from the village's water fund.

Estimates for the electrical work at village hall will be moved into next year's considerations. 

The parking lot area behind the former Kelsey House for Village Hall parking has been completed. The curb cut will be completed in the spring. It has room for five vehicles.

Trustees also discussed an invoice from Bast Hatfield and hold payment until a comprehensive audit of the pool project has been completed.

Trustees also discussed the money spent on legal matters related to numerous lawsuits brought against the village, related to property at 3 Harper Street. The $30,000 cost of defending the village against the lawsuits, which have so far been dismissed, according to officials. Trustees determined they would use the proceeds  from the sale of the barn on Railroad Ave., to offset the unbudgeted expense.

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