Van Etten Town Hall

Van Etten Town Hall 

The Town of Van Etten plans to sell its current town hall and move into the former Van Etten Village offices. At a meeting of the Van Etten Town Board July 11, members of the board unanimously approved a “notice of sale of property” for the building. 

The Town of Van Etten will receive bids for the sale of property, located at 83 Main Street, until 4 p.m. on Aug. 8. 

The bids will be opened during the Aug. 8 meeting of the Van Etten Town Board, which will begin at 7 p.m. 

The Town will make no warranty or representation as to the condition of the property, and the purchaser “assumes all risks thereof,” according to the notice. 

The Town reserves the right to reject any and all bids received or to withdraw the property from sale at any time. The sale will be subject to approval by the town board and subject to permissive referendum. 

In other Town business, Thomas H. Ross, a surveying technician and business agent for Storino Gematics Land Surveying Services and Consulting, PLLC, was on hand to discuss with the Village a contract for surveying Mount Hope Cemetery and Canfield Cemetery. 

This was in response to a request for proposal by the Town seeking a sub-surface geophysical grave plot survey of the Canfield and Mount Hope Cemeteries, where more than 1,200 memorials are reported to exist, for validation and completion of the cemetery records to identify all occupied and available plots. 

Harold Shoemaker, Van Etten Town Board member, pointed out that the project will be grant-funded, though the Town will have to pay for the work to be done before it can receive reimbursement. 

“What we’re concerned about are what sites are still available for burial, so we can make sure there are no issues there,” Shoemaker explained 

Storino Geomatics included in its contract a lump sum fee of $30,272 for the review of provided documents and research of available reference documents such as deeds and filed mapping, a full boundary survey of the Village of the Van Etten tax map of Mount Hope Cemetery and Canfield Cemetery, verification of any boundary monuments found, the survey location of each occupied or available grave plot as marked out by Ground Penetrating Radar Systems (GPRS). 

The land surveyors would prepare grave plot information for the cemeteries that would meet or exceed the standards of the New York State Office of Professions Practice Guidelines, including boundary lines, existing grave plot pins, found grave plots not indicated on the provided existing mapping and grave plots derived from the provided existing cemetery maps with an indication of the grave plot number and occupied or available status. 

“That’s kind of where it gets tricky is identifying what was done 150 years ago,” Ross said. 

Storino Gematics would also create a corresponding spreadsheet that will contain: grave plot numbers if available that correspond to the existing maps, whether or not it is occupied or available, the name of deceased individuals, if available, and whether there is a headstone or footstone present. It will also include existing grave plot pins status and GPS coordinates of the center of each plot. 

“Most of our work is going to be on a computer, going through the deeds, coming down here and going through records of sales,” Ross said. “The actual survey work is not a ton. The coordination work to go with the survey is a ton of work. That’s where the majority of the time is going to be.” 

Sub-surface grave plot location and mark-out, utilizing GPRS, would be done by a subcontractor—Subsurface Scanning Solutions—for a total cost of $9,600. 

Any remaining available grave plots would be pinned on four corners with magnetic rebar that can be easily located by cemetery personnel with use of a magnetic locator for an additional $156 per plot. 

Several board members commented that the price appeared reasonable, and the board voted unanimously to approve the contract.

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