A dispute between the Village of Cobleskill and former mayor and businessman Mark Nadeau took another twist Sunday afternoon when Mr. Nadeau ripped up part of the parking lot at the corner of Main and Union Streets before he was stopped by police.
“They told me I had a choice: Stop or be arrested,” Mr. Nadeau said Sunday evening, even as he vowed to go back and remove the temporary barricades that had been put up at the site.
“One more truckload and I’d have been done…”
The parking lot is the village’s, countered Mayor Linda Holmes, and Mr. Nadeau had no business ripping out the asphalt “hump” that divides it from his property.
The hump is village-owned, she said, a remnant from when it was put in to keep water away from the foundation of the former Lambert’s.
Mayor Holmes said she called the Cobleskill Village Police when she learned what Mr. Nadeau was doing; following an emergency village meeting late Sunday, she filed a complaint against Mr. Nadeau with Codes Enforcement Officer Mike Piccolo.
The option of having Mr. Nadeau arrested is “still there,” Mayor Holmes said.
“But I don’t want anyone arrested…What he did was totally illegal. A private person can’t do things on village property.”
Simmering since 2012, the dispute burst into open flame after Mayor Holmes and trustees rejected Mr. Nadeau’s request that the village help him pave the lot at a special meeting last Wednesday—when they also told him not to ask again without a formal set of engineering plans.
“They told me not to say anything [at Wednesday’s meeting], so I just walked out,” Mr. Nadeau said, his point, instead, made Sunday.
“What I did is exactly what I told them to do,” he said. “The rules of the game keep changing…I can’t hit a moving target…I have a business with a 15-year contract. I don’t see anyone else coming in and cleaning things up.”
The dispute between Mr. Nadeau and the village has been ongoing since Mr. Nadeau bought the property, eventually taking down the dilapidated building, before building two storefronts on the lot.
Mr. Nadeau’s property borders an L-shaped village parking lot; the properties and the lot are—or were, until Sunday--separated by a small asphalt berm or “hump,” which Mr. Nadeau said is impacting drainage on his land.
About a year ago, Mr. Nadeau asked the village to help cover the cost of paving both lots--he would work on the drainage—and the village asked for engineering plans first.
They never got them, said both Mr. Piccolo and Mayor Holmes.
In June, Mr. Nadeau made the request again, saying he has tenants for the second building—LabCorps—and demanding that the “hump” be removed.
The village held off on a decision until Wednesday’s special meeting, when Trustee Nancy Van Deusen read a resolution, which the board unanimously adopted, that says in part:
--The parking lot poses no problem for the village.
--The Planning Board told Mr. Nadeau when he submitted his site plans that the parking lot would be solely his responsibility.
--Any issue with the parking lot was created by Mr. Nadeau building his building below grade.
“...the village will not change the parking lot...at taxpayer expense...if Mr. Mark Nadeau wishes to make any changes...at his own expense, he must first submit a stamped engineering design for village approval.”
The resolution also says that if the plan is approved by the village, Mr. Nadeau will be required to submit a performance bond “to ensure that work is completed according to submitted plan, concluding:
“Furthermore, be it resolved that the village board will not address this issue again until such time as a stamped plan is submitted for approval.”