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Mayor Stands Against Zion Lutheran Project

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/19/24 | 4/19/24

By Joshua Walther

COBLESKILL - At the Cobleskill Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Rebecca Stanton-Terk made her stance clear on the proposed Zion Lutheran Church renovation.

The project in question, proposing to repair the burned interior of the church and remodel it into a restaurant with live entertainment, has been in the public eye for months now.

Many community members, from fellow business owners to residents who were looking forward to the new venue, gave their full support for the project’s success, as could be seen by the audience size at the Zoning Board of Appeals’s February meeting. However, it seemed that officials were indifferent along the way.

During the public comment period on Tuesday, resident Ruth Van Deusen directly questioned the Board, saying that she felt disappointed how the trustees and mayor appeared to show no signs of interest.

She continued, stating that it furthered a stereotype that the Board is against new businesses within the area.

Once public comment was over, Mayor Stanton-Terk directly addressed these claims, saying “We don’t normally respond during public comment, but this needs to be said.”

The mayor began by arguing that “We support local businesses when it’s appropriate to do so.” After a short elaboration that the project was ultimately in the hands of the Zoning Board of Appeals, she said that there are multiple problems with the project, citing the area and the potential parking and traffic issues specifically.

Once Mayor Stanton-Terk had made her brief point, she concluded by saying “I would support it one hundred percent, but not in its current location.”

Once they had moved on from the Zion Lutheran Church, the Board then pivoted to talking about Saint Vincent de Paul on Elm Street.

As that church has not been utilized in quite some time, the codes enforcement officer went to check the property in November. There, he found multiple structural problems and classified it as a public safety hazard.

After reviewing the report, the Board made the decision to send a notice to the owner of the church for its imminent restoration or demolition.

Finally, Mayor Stanton-Terk warned that hydrant flushing is still in progress and that residents should be wary of discolored water.

She recommended that laundry or shower days should be held off until after the hydrants are processed, which will then return the water to its normal state.

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