Public Hearing Sept. 5 to Amend Street Performer Ordinance
A Public Hearing will take place 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at City Hall - just prior to the council’s next scheduled meeting - to amend the Street Performer ordinance, which regulates street performers and was originally adopted in 2015. (That ordinance may be viewed here: http://www.saratoga-springs.org/documentcenter/view/2595 ). Assistant City Attorney Tony Izzo is currently crafting the amendment.
The regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. during which the council may take action regarding the acquisition of property by the use of eminent domain as it relates to the proposed Geyser Road Trail.
City Approves 2018-2023 Capital Budget
The Council voted 4 -1 to approve the city’s six-year Capital Budget Program, which counts 26 projects at a cost of $11 million – nearly all of it to be bonded - for the year 2018.
Madigan voted against the measure, consistent with a r stance she has taken in previous years, explaining that she feels the Commissioner of Finance needs to have flexibility regarding the budget as the city operates under a 2 percent tax cap, and that the budget has an impact on the property tax rate.
The costliest project, ranked #14 on the 2018 priority list, recommends $3 million be set aside for the design and construction of an East Side Fire and EMS facility. The public safety project has long been on the city’s radar as a supplement to its two other existing stations, which are located near downtown Saratoga Springs, and on the city’s west side. Land has not yet been acquired for the land necessary for the project. “To require to bond for this is premature,” Madigan noted.
The two other seven-digit cost proposals for 2018 are capital improvements of the Kaydeross Avenue West Pipe - a $1.2 million DPW request - and the addition of a radio tower in the city, which ranks number 1 overall on the project list and calls for $1.3 million to be bonded.
The water pipe upgrade indicates that the water mains on Route 9 and Nelson Avenue Extension are undergoing “severe external corrosion,” according to the Department of Public Works, which proposes a four-year program be implemented to replace the main and “avoid catastrophic failure.” The city has approximately 150 miles of municipal water mains – about 20 miles of which in the core of the city is comprised of cast iron pipe more than a century old and is in need of replacement, according to the DPW.
The radio tower project signifies efforts by the Public Safety Department and the Safety Committee to correct significant communication deficiencies in the city's emergency communications systems and existing “life safety issues” that currently exist with community emergency communications, according to the DPS. The roof of the Stonequist Apartments complex is under consideration as a potential location to site the tower.
Spa Solar Park Gets its Day in the Sun
Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan announced the 2.5-megawatt solar array, The Spa Solar Park, will be fully energized this week. A public ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 12 – time to be determined – at the site on the city’s landfill. “This has been a long time coming,” Madigan told the council this week.
The City received support for the Spa Solar Park development from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the Governor’s NY-Sun Competitive PV Program. The landfill is city-owned property with otherwise limited use. The project is environmentally sound. The solar panels will be sufficient to match approximately 40 percent of the city’s energy requirements.
City Receives $2.3 Million VLT Aid
In her submission to the council of the city’s Second Quarter Financial Report of 2017, Madigan noted VLT aid was received June 30 and represents full payment for the year. The $2,325,592 received in 2017 was equal to the amount received the previous year.
Commissioner Chris Mathiesen announced the Public Safety Department will host a Public Safety Forum at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 in the City Council Room at City Hall.