George E. Primeau Sr.
Ask the Mayor!
City of Cohoes
97 Mohawk Street
Cohoes, NY 12047

City Hall hours
Monday thru Friday
8am - 4pm
518.233.2121


Currently:
July 28, 2014
2:25 PM
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Building and Planning
   Code Enforcement
      - Do I need a building permit for any or all of the following installations: fence, swimming pool, siding, deck or repair/replace a roof ?
      - How do I get a permit?
      - What is the cost of a permit?
      - What is the procedure for installing a pool on my property?
      - When do you need a plumbing permit?
      - Who can do electrical work?
      - How often must I have my apartment inspected?
 
City Clerk
   City Clerk
      - How can I obtain a certificate of residency for attendance at a community college?
      - How do I obtain a certified Birth/Death/Marriage record?
      - How do I obtain a dog license or renew an existing license?
      - What is the procedure for obtaining a marriage license?
 
City Court
   City Court
      - Are Court sessions open to the public?
      - How can I pay my fine?
      - How do I file a small claim by myself for back rent?
      - How do I file a small claim?
      - How do I get a public defender?
      - How To Contact The Courts Office?
      - What do I do if I get a parking ticket?
      - What do I do if I get a suspension notice?
      - What do I do if I get a traffic ticket?
 
Community Development
   Community Development
      - I would like to buy a HUD home. What should I do?
      - I would like to start a large business or would like to relocate my large business in Cohoes. How can the City help me?
      - I would like to start a small business in Cohoes. Are there funds available?
      - My home is in need of rehabilitation. Does the City have any programs that might help me?
      - Where and when do the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals meet?
      - Where is the Cohoes Visitors Center and what are its hours of operation?
 
Human Services
   Human Services
      - What are the hours the pool is open?
      - What summer programs do you offer?
      - When and where do I sign up for soccer?
      - When is the pool opening?
      - Where can I get an application for summer employment?
 
Library
   Library
      - Can I connect to the Internet at the Library?
      - Do you have city Directories?
      - Do you have copies of old newspapers?
      - Do you have last week's newspaper?
 
Police
   Police
      - How do I obtain a copy of crime reports?
      - How do I obtain a copy of motor vehicle accident reports?
      - How do I obtain a photo I.D.?
      - Who do I call about court appearances or related actions?
 
Public Works
   Public Works
      - How can I get rid of metal items (lawnmowers, bikes, washers, dryers, stoves, etc.)?
      - How do I dispose of bulk items (furniture, rugs, etc.)?
      - How do I dispose of tires?
      - How do I get rid of electronics, televisions, etc.?
      - How do I get rid of my hazardous waste materials?
      - How do I get rid of my yard waste?
      - What do I do if my garbage does not fit in the containers I have?
 


Building and Planning To Top
    Code Enforcement
          Do I need a building permit for any or all of the following installations: fence, swimming pool, siding, deck or repair/replace a roof ?
Yes, a building permit is required to replace all of the above projects, not to repair.


          How do I get a permit?
A permit can be obtained from the Code Enforcement Office on the second floor of City Hall or online at www.ci.cohoes.ny.us. The Office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. 

An owner or his contractor can apply for the permit. Depending on the type of work planned, you may need a survey of the property and plans or drawings that show details of construction. You can call ahead to check.  Fees for a building permit must be paid at the time of the application.  Permit applicants can expect to have the approved permit within 5-10 business days after submitting an application.

Permit applications must be checked against the various codes the City enforces - building, housing, plumbing, zoning, preservation, etc. Specially trained staff in the Cohoes Building Department will help you with this process. In most cases fees are based upon the cost of the project; in some cases the fees are pre-set. You can call ahead to check.

When a permit application is approved, a permit card is issued and must be displayed on the job until the work is finished. A set of approved construction plans should remain on the job site during the period of construction.

Please refer to the Building Permits web page for additional information.



          What is the cost of a permit?

Fees

*All fess must be paid first before applicant can receive a permit*

Barricade Permit

$30 with a building permit
$60 without a building permit

Utility Street Excavation

$100

Building Permit

1% of the cost of the project, $50 Minimum

Fence

1% of the cost of the project, $30 Minimum

Demolition

$250 for Commercial or Dwelling
$75 Accessory Structure

Driveway

1% of the cost of the project or $50 Minimum

Sidewalk

1% of the cost of the project or $50 Minimum



          What is the procedure for installing a pool on my property?

 

In order to install a pool on your property you must obtain a special use permit from the Cohoes Planning Board.  The application is available at the City’s website:  www.cohoes.com.  Click “Forms Center” from the column of yellow buttons on the left hand side of the screen.  Then select “Special Use Permit” under “Planning Board.” 

 

The Board meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm in Cohoes City Hall, second floor room 15 – commonly known as the Common Council Chamber.  You can check the meeting schedules online at the City website.  On the Home page, click on the yellow button marked “Meeting Schedule.”

 

The applicant should submit materials two weeks prior to the meeting.  Materials should include an aerial drawing of the property along with setbacks from the property lines to the proposed pool and placement of all other structures on the lot.  The packet can be mailed or hand delivered to the Director of Building and Planning in room 17, second floor, City Hall located at 97 Mohawk Street in Cohoes, NY 12047.

 

Once the Planning Board approves the special use permit, the property owner should obtain a building permit from the Department of Building and Planning.  The building permit costs a minimum of $50 or 1% of the total project cost.  In addition, the property owner will need to prove that the pool’s safety features meet NYS Code.  The owner must install a 4’ fence with a self-locking gate around the pool and install an alarm system on the pool.  These items should be listed on the building permit application.

 

Finally, along with the building permit, the contractor who will install the pool must provide proof of insurance.  The contractor installing the pool must show proof of general liability, workers compensation and disability benefits.  The homeowner can perform the work, but will need to complete a notarized form available in our office.

 

The building permit application and insurance forms are also available on the City website.  The “building permit application” can be found under “Code Enforcement.”  Please feel free to contact the Director of Building and Planning at 233-2130 with any questions or concerns.  Thank you in advance for your anticipated compliance.



          When do you need a plumbing permit?

A plumbing permit is required to

1. Install or replace a plumbing fixture (bathtub, shower, water heater, etc.).
2. Install, repair or replace a water supply line, storm or sanitary drainage line or vent line.
3.Mechanical de-rooting of a sanitary drainage system to remove a blockage.

A plumbing permit is not required to

1. Replace a rubber or fiber washer in an existing faucet.
2.Use a rubber plunger to remove a blockage drainage system.



          Who can do electrical work?

The owner-occupant of a single-family dwelling may perform electrical work within his/her own dwelling without having a licensed electrician, but he or she must still obtain an electrical permit at the City Cohoes Building Department and make application for inspection with a City approved electrical inspection agency in order that the work performed is inspected and approved.

Your electrician must file for an electrical permit and an application for inspection with a City approved electrical agency before work starts.



          How often must I have my apartment inspected?
Each time you re-rent an apartment it has to be inspected.


 
City Clerk To Top
    City Clerk
          How can I obtain a certificate of residency for attendance at a community college?
  • The applicant must present proof of residence in New York State for one full year prior to application. Proof of residence in Albany County for six months prior to the application must also be provided. If the proof provided reflects less than six months, the applicant will receive credit for only that time period. The remainder of time must be applied for from the other New York State County.

Acceptable proof of residency are:
Driver license issued at least one year prior to application.
School records.
Prior year's income tax record or W-2 form.
Rent receipt or lease agreement.
Car registration.

  • An application form must be filled out by the applicant.
  • There is no fee for this service.


          How do I obtain a certified Birth/Death/Marriage record?

Please contact the City Clerk's Office for procedures in obtaining vital records.



          How do I obtain a dog license or renew an existing license?

1. New License:

  • Proof of rabies vaccination from a veterinarian must be shown.
  • Proof of spay/neutering from a veterinarian (if applicable) must be shown.
  • Licenses need to be renewed yearly.
  • Bring above information to the City Clerk's office or send by mail.
  • Fees are as follows:

Dog Status Yearly Rate

Neutered/Spayed dog $12.50

Unneutered/unspayed dog $20.50


Yearly Rate for Senior Citizens 65 years and older

Neutered/Spayed dog $2.50

Unneutered/unspayed dog $10.50


2. Renewal:

  • Yearly renewal forms are sent to owners directly from the City Clerk's office 
  • If rabies vaccination has expired, new proof must be submitted
  • Licenses need to be renewed every year
  • Bring above information to the City Clerk's office or send by mail


          What is the procedure for obtaining a marriage license?
  • A couple who plans on marrying in New York State may obtain their marriage license from any Town or City Clerk within the State.
  • The prospective couple must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Two (2) forms of identification must be produced. The applicants must produce a photo ID (i.e. driver license) and a certified birth certificate. Certified divorce papers are needed if either party was previously married. In the event of a death, a certified death certificate will be needed.
  • The marriage license must be obtained at least 24 hours before the marriage and it is valid for 60 days after it is issued. The City Clerk's office issues marriage licenses by appointment only. The fee for a marriage license is $40.00.


 
City Court To Top
    City Court
          Are Court sessions open to the public?
Yes, Court Sessions are open to the public.


          How can I pay my fine?

You may submit a money order or certified check made out to "Cohoes City Court" either in person or by mail, or you may bring cash to the office. The Court does not accept personal checks. Visa or Mastercard may be used for any Vehicle & Traffic Violation. Credit card payments must have authorized signatures, therefore, no telephone credit card transactions can be accepted, except by fax . Credit card payments made in person must be accompanied by one form of photo identification or two other forms of identification. Credit card payments made by mail or fax must be accompanied by a signed cardholder acknowledgment form which will be a part of the notice of fine payment mailed to you. If other than the defendant is making the payment, a photocopy of the cardholder's photo identification with signature (i.e. drivers license) is also required. The amount charged may not exceed the amount imposed by the Court. Any credit card transaction that is rejected for failure to submit all required information will result in the filing of a default judgment without prior notice.



          How do I file a small claim by myself for back rent?

You should contact the Court for information regarding the proper paperwork you need to obtain and complete.



          How do I file a small claim?

In order to file a Small Claim in our Court, the person whom you are suing (the Defendant) must either live or work in the County of Albany. In other words, the address you provide the Court must be located in Albany County. You do need an exact address. You cannot use a P.O.Box. The amount of your claim cannot exceed $5,000.

Once you have this information, you may file the paperwork at the Court Office, Monday thru Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Corporations, partnerships and associations having a principal office in the State of New York may bring a commercial claim against a person or a business located in Albany County for an amount up to $5,000. The Court may hear cases brought by DBA's provided they show proof that they are, in fact, a DBA. For more information, you may pick up a booklet on Small Claims at the Court Office, or you may view the booklet online by clicking on the link below.

A Guide To Small Claims Court



          How do I get a public defender?

In order to obtain a Public Defender, you must financially qualify and be charged with a crime or violation other than a traffic infraction. For more information regarding the qualifications, you may contact the Public Defender's Office at 518-447-7150.



          How To Contact The Courts Office?

In Person:
The Court Office has a window which is open from 8:00 A.M. until 3:30 P.M.

By Telephone:
between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. at: 
(518) 453-5501 

Mailing Address:

Cohoes City Courts
P.O. Box 678
97 Mohawk Street
Cohoes, New York 12047



          What do I do if I get a parking ticket?
You may mail your fine into the Treasurer's Office - City Hall, or you can request a Parking Ticket Protest Form from the Treasurer's Office. Complete that form and return it to the Treasurer's Office. The Treasurer will forward protest forms to the Judge for his review and decision. You will be notified by the Treasurer's Office of the outcome.


          What do I do if I get a suspension notice?

You should immediately contact the Court to determine the reason for the suspension. If the suspension is for failing to pay a fine, the payment should be remitted to the Court. If the suspension is for failing to answer the summons, then you should appear in Court to expedite the procedure. If you are unable to appear and the charge is not a misdemeanor, you may be able to mail in a plea, be sent a notice with the amount to pay, remit your payment and be mailed a receipt. NYS Department of Motor Vehicles suggests that you carry this receipt with you for a minimum of a year as they no longer have the capability to lift suspensions. The Court mails notifications to DMV and they advise it takes this long for it to clear.



          What do I do if I get a traffic ticket?

There are a few options when getting a traffic ticket. On the back of the yellow ticket given by the officer is what is called a plea by mail. If you wish to plead guilty, you may sign and date Part A pleading guilty and the Court will mail you back a notice of fine. If you wish to plead not guilty, you may sign and date Part B pleading not guilty and you will be scheduled for an appearance and a possible trial.

If you do not wish to plea by mail but rather you would like to speak to a Judge then you must appear on the date that is listed on the front of your ticket at the bottom of your ticket. Please note that most tickets you can mail in your plea, however, there are some exceptions. All misdemeanor tickets must appear in Court. If there is a question on whether you were charged with a misdemeanor, you may contact the Court for clarification.



 
Community Development To Top
    Community Development
          I would like to buy a HUD home. What should I do?
You should contact any local realtor who would have a listing and will help you with the purchase. If you have internet access, you could check the HUD website www.hud.gov .


          I would like to start a large business or would like to relocate my large business in Cohoes. How can the City help me?
In addition to the loan programs that the Cohoes Local Development Corporation administers for small businesses, the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency is an agency that has the authority to issue revenue bonds to assist large businesses. Besides the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency, the Cohoes Urban Renewal Agency can assist large businesses with site acquisition.


          I would like to start a small business in Cohoes. Are there funds available?
The Cohoes Industrial Development Agency administers a Business Loan Program and a Micro-Enterprise Loan Fund. The Department is staff to the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency. Any individual who is interested in financial assistance from either loan program should contact the Department for details. Technical assistance is also available.


          My home is in need of rehabilitation. Does the City have any programs that might help me?
Presently the Department does not administer any home rehabilitation programs. However, the Department may be able to refer you to programs that are administered by not-for-profit agencies or other governmental entities. For example posted on our website is information about the home repair programs of the Albany County Rural Housing Alliance for low-income Cohoes residents. Click here for more information.


          Where and when do the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals meet?
Both the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals meet in the Common Council Chambers of City Hall. The Planning Commission usually meets the first Monday of the month and the Zoning Board of Appeals usually meets the fourth Wednesday of the month. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m.


          Where is the Cohoes Visitors Center and what are its hours of operation?
The Cohoes Visitors Center is located in the Cohoes Music Hall at 58 Remsen Street. It is opened Tuesday to Friday from noon to 4:00 p.m. Group tours are available at any time but must be scheduled at least one week in advance.


 
Human Services To Top
    Human Services
          What are the hours the pool is open?
The pool is open every day from noon - 7:00 p.m.


          What summer programs do you offer?
Summer programs are posted on the Cohoes Web site under the Human Services Department page.


          When and where do I sign up for soccer?
Soccer registration is sent out through the schools at the end of the school year. Registration dates are posted on those forms.


          When is the pool opening?
The pool opens June 28, 2010.


          Where can I get an application for summer employment?
You can obtain an employment application on the Cohoes Web site or in the Human Services Department on the second floor of City Hall in Room 20. 


 
Library To Top
    Library
          Can I connect to the Internet at the Library?
Yes! The library has six sit-down public access computers as well as one computer dedicated to quick reference such as searching the library catolog or the online databases.  The library also provides wireless connection and partons are welcome to bring their laptop or other internet devices to the library. Anyone who has a valid library card and is at least 18 years old may use the computers. If you are between 8 and 18 you must also have a permission slip signed by one of your parents. If you are 8 years old or under you must have an adult with you.


          Do you have city Directories?
Yes! The library has city directories ranging from 1861 to 1935 on microfilm and they have 1895 to approximatley 2000 in hard copy although some years may be missing.


          Do you have copies of old newspapers?
The library has copies of local newspapers on microfilm from February 1895 to December 1957. We have a microfilm reader but it does not make photocopies. Ask at the circulation desk for help.


          Do you have last week's newspaper?
No. The library keeps Sunday papers until Wednesday or Thursday. Daily papers, including the Times Union, The Troy Record, The Gazette, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today are all changed daily. They are not kept because we have no storage space. Copies of newspapers are available locally at Troy Public Library, Colonie Town Library, or the Albany Public Library.


 
Police To Top
    Police
          How do I obtain a copy of crime reports?
To obtain a crime report you must submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request at City Hall. You may pick up a FOIL request form at the police desk. Depending on the circumstances of the report, certain information may not be authorized for release. Your request will be reviewed in a timely manner and you will be contacted by a member of the Police Department notifying you of the results. There is an administrative copying fee of 25 cents per page for all FOIL requests.


          How do I obtain a copy of motor vehicle accident reports?
For accidents that occur in Cohoes, motor vehicle accident reports are normally completed in 72 hours. You MUST call the Police Department at 237-5333 to inquire about a particular report prior to coming to headquarters.


          How do I obtain a photo I.D.?
You can obtain a photo I.D. through the Cohoes Police Department. Before you can obtain the I.D., you must meet the following requirements:

1.      You must be a Cohoes resident.
(proof of residency required, ex: recent nimo bill, phone bill).
 
2.      You must be at least 21 years of age.
 
3.      Birth Certificate.
 
4.      Social Security Card.
 
5.      $25.00 processing fee.
       *$10.00 – Seniors
 
I.D.'s are done on Tuesdays and you must have an appointment. You may go to the window to make an appointment, or if the window is closed you may call (518) 237-5333 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment.
 
*Senior discount applies to 60 years old and over.


          Who do I call about court appearances or related actions?
Citizens often call the police department in regards to matters that must be addressed by the court. The police cannot confirm or change the date of a court appearance or adjust a fine or dismiss charges against a defendant. All such issues must be directed to Court personnel at 233-2134.


 
Public Works To Top
    Public Works
          How can I get rid of metal items (lawnmowers, bikes, washers, dryers, stoves, etc.)?

The last Thursday of every month, DPW will collect all metal items free of charge. Call 233-2139 to be put on the list for pick up. This day is restricted to metal ONLY. 



          How do I dispose of bulk items (furniture, rugs, etc.)?

Residents must complete a trash collection request form which can be found on the City’s Web site either under the Forms Center or the Dept. of Public Works page.  The form along with payment can be returned to the Treasurer’s Office at City Hall. Pick-ups are normally scheduled for the first workday after payment is made.  Items may also be taken to the annual spring clean-up day (held one Saturday in May).



          How do I dispose of tires?

Residents must complete a trash collection form which can be found on the City’s Web site either under the Forms Center or the Department of Public Works page.  The form along with payment can be returned to the Treasure’s Office at City Hall.


          How do I get rid of electronics, televisions, etc.?

Residents must complete a trash collection form which can be found on the City’s Web site either under the Forms Center or the Department of Public Works page.  The form along with payment can be returned to the Treasure’s Office at City Hall.


          How do I get rid of my hazardous waste materials?

The City of Cohoes has a Hazardous Waste Day once a year.  Continue to watch for updates on when that day will be held.
 
If residents have hazardous waste materials that they want to dispose of and cannot wait until hazardous waste day, they can put empty paint cans or cans with hardened paint (mixed with cat litter or put on newspaper to harden the paint) in their trash can for regular trash pick up.




          How do I get rid of my yard waste?

Yard waste is collected the day following your regularly scheduled trash collection day.  This is the same day as your recycling day.  Yard waste must be in a brown, biodegradable paper bag and should be left out at the curb NO LATER than 7am. If the bags are not picked up on the scheduled day, leave them out until they are picked up.



          What do I do if my garbage does not fit in the containers I have?

Each resident is allowed up to two garbage and unlimited recycling containers. If one trash container is not sufficient, a second container may be purchased through the Treasurer’s Office at City Hall.  If you have an overflow of garbage and you already have two containers, you may purchase orange overflow trash bags for $2.00 each at the Treasurer’s Office.



 





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