Village approves winter festival Feb. 26

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The Whitehall Village Board met on Jan. 18 and was approached by Barbara Spoor for approval of a winter festival for Feb. 26, an idea, she said, was brought to her by community members.

“The only idea I could come up with small enough where I have enough time to make it happen is Riverside Park,” she said. “The idea I had was to block off the street from the fire company to the stop sign.”

Spoor said she has already reached out to Department of Public Works foreman Steven Brock, who said blocking off the streets shouldn’t be an issue seeing as the event will only be three to four hours long.

“I don’t want to do anything too extravagant, but I have had a lot of people come up to me saying they want it so I’m going to do what I can to give it to them,” Spoor said.

The event will be open to the public as long as attendees are masked. Spoor said that American Legion Post 83 will be providing some food for the event and other Whitehall businesses also will be taking part.

“Freakopolis is going to help with some games so it would be nice to have that area. I’m trying to book a food truck as well,” she said.

The event is being planned for Saturday, Feb. 26, starting around 11 a.m., but the time frame is still tentative. There will be fundraisers going on at the event for Skene Manor and the Whitehall Christmas Cheer Committee.

Also, Mayor Julie Eagan informed the board of a special meeting on Friday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. in the village office when the village attorney will be present for an organizational meeting for the year.

“He has asked to set up a meeting to talk about all the projects we have going on and where we’re going with those,” Eagan said. “He also wants to talk about trying to get a plan together and maybe give us a little focus and clarity on what’s going on with our projects.”

Eagan said that DPW foreman Brock and the chief operator of the wastewater plant, George Rockenstire, will need to be in attendance. The meeting will be held for the public if community members are interested in hearing about the village’s plans for 2022.

In other discussions, the village wastewater treatment plant was visited by the New York Department of Ecological Conservation within the month and graded the plant as satisfactory. The rating comes with acknowledgment of increased iodine levels after wet weather events, such as the August 2020 flood.

“They have been dramatically reduced and encourage us to continue meeting with engineer consultants,” she said.

Later, the board returned to the subject of the wastewater treatment plant, and board member Tim Watson brought up that the board should be using Covid stimulus funds to look into repairing village water and wastewater issues. The discussion also led to the idea of wells in the village. Wells have been installed in Fort Ann, and Watson wonders if this is an opportunity for Whitehall.

“We’ve got this Covid money and if we can do a pilot study to see how much it’s going to cost and to see if it’s feasible to have wells,” Watson said.

Watson is working on getting figures from Fort Ann regarding the prices of wells as well as prices for some areas within Granville. It is a project that will continue to be worked on by Watson.

Other business:

The Whitehall Village Police Department was approved for a grant to receive a new live fingerprinting scanner. Sgt. Dave Buxton reported the news and said the scanner the department was looking at was within the budget for the year and will be a valuable addition to the department.

The annual fiscal report by Washington County was received by the village and $37,515 was made in sales tax, $11,315 in mortgage tax and $8,200 in public works payments.

Two sealed bids were opened for a new 100-kilowatt-powered generator. The board chose the bid for a total of $47,620 which would include a transfer switch and removal of the old generator.