Portion of Knox-Cave Road to undergo $121K reconstruction 

KNOX — Just over 3.5 miles of Knox-Cave Road will undergo significant renovations through the county’s Department of Public Works, Albany County Legislator Jeff Perlee announced at Knox’s regular town board meeting on March 10. 

Perlee, a Republican, was elected as legislator for the 31st District last November, beating out Democrat Fran Porter for the seat vacated by Republlican Travis Stevens. The 31st District covers Altamont in rural Guilderland and parts of Berne and Knox.

As a member of the legislature’s public works committee — an assignment Perlee said he requested because “public works and county roads are a big issue on the Hill” — he got approval from the legislature to authorize an appropriation of $121,000 for the repair, he said.

The project, which Perlee said is anticipated to begin in mid-summer and last until early fall, will cover a 3.6-mile stretch between the road between county routes 156 and 157A. 

“It’s not a repaving,” Perlee said, “It’s a reconstruction.”

The project will also update the stormwater drainage system and guardrails, Perlee said. He told The Enterprise that the road had “been on the Department of Public Works list for a while.”

Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis asked Perlee during the meeting if it would be possible to “grind down the hump” in the road where it intersects with Pleasant Valley Road. Lefkaditis said that the lack of visibility caused by that hump has led to accidents.

Perlee responded that “now is the time to reach out” to Department of Public Works Commissioner Lisa Ramundo.

 

Rail-trail extension?

In the same meeting, Perlee announced that the county legislature will be receiving a grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee to investigate a potential extension of the county’s Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail into the village of Altamont. The trail begins in Albany and currently terminates in Voorheesville. 

“I proposed and it was accepted that they would consider an extension of the rail trail to come up the Hill and link with Thacher and Thompson Lake State Park as well,” Perlee said. 

Perlee told The Enterprise that the rail trail is a recreational trail maintained by the county that used to be a railroad line.

“The section from downtown Albany to as far out as Voorheesville was abandoned,” Perlee said, and explained that the county used the right-of-way that still existed to develop a recreational trail, adding, “It’s a very popular recreational activity.”

The railroad in Altamont is an active line, Perlee said, so the study will look at ways to coordinate railway activity with pedestrian activity. 

“The first option is ask if the active rail is within the right-of-way,” Perlee said. If it is, there’s the potential to develop a trail alongside the railroad, though he said it’s not a perfect idea since it poses obvious hazards. 

Another option, Perlee said, would be to “blaze a new trail” through private lands, if owners are willing to consent.

At the Knox meeting, Perlee expressed hopes that an extension through the Hilltowns would promote economic development in the area. 

“It brings people out to our part of the county to use that,” Perlee said.

 

Other business

In other business, the Knox Town Board:

— Passed a law, 5 to 0, that will allow residents to operate home-businesses more easily by allowing the employment of up to two people unrelated to the owner, in addition to the owner of the property;

— Heard from Lefkaditis that an extension for a $130,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research And Development Authority is “all but approved.” Knox plans to use the money to install solar arrays that would produce electricity for town buildings. Lefkaditis said that the town’s contact in NYSERDA should have official word to the town in the next two weeks;

— Discussed changes to the pending Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, agreement with Borrego to ensure that only the town receives money from the solar company, whereas the contract currently allows the school district and the county to potentially lay claim to those payments; and

— Rescheduled its next regular meeting from April 14 to April 7 to avoid anticipated absences.

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