Minutes for September 16, 2014

Southwest Neighborhood Association of Saratoga Springs
Minutes – September 16, 2014

Meeting conducted in the Saratoga Eagle Community Room

Officer introductions and reports;
President – Molly Gagné opened the meeting at 7:04. An impressive historical list of SWNA achievements was shared. Also reported that a member needed “house watch” assistance. Joe and Joan Kearney, Jim Gould and Palma Burke graciously responded to the request.
Vice –President – Candyce Robenstein gave information about the upcoming Showcase of Homes event that benefits Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together Saratoga County.
Treasurer – Dave Lauzon presented the financial report on funds being held at Saratoga National Bank. The general fund (checking account) totals $2,890.84. The Geyser Trail account totals $12,146.11. Total is $15,037.95.
Corresponding Secretary – Margaret Prough reported that letters of appreciation were sent to; Jonathan Scherzer for C.D.T.A. bus passes, Dehn’s Florist for discounted flowers, Steve DiLoreto for Ball Corporation’s roadside clean-up, Jason Yourdon for web site work, Tony Eastwood for Master Gardener advice and Adam Madkour for the $200 donation from the Saratoga Spring Water Company.
Recording Secretary – Palma Burke – absent
Tonight’s minutes taken by Raoul Gagné. Minutes from May 13, 2014 were approved.

Devin DalPos – former president of SWNA and current member of the Saratoga Springs Comprehensive Plan Committee, brought the membership up to date regarding the Comprehensive Plan’s mandated review.
Devin brought items to the attention of the city’s review committee that are of special interest to the entire community and especially to the sw neighborhood. Suggestions included the need to supplement the services of Code Enforcement and the need to set restrictions for storage of trailers, rv’s and boats on residential properties.
Devin said that the draft of the Comprehensive Plan is now available at city hall and on the city web site, www.saratoga-springs.org . He will keep us informed when public comment opportunities arise and before the final adoption vote is taken by the city council.

GUEST SPEAKER – Kevin Veitch, Office of Code Enforcement

Kevin is one of only two code administrators for Saratoga Springs. His presentation concentrated on information concerning vacant homes. He emphasized the need for residents to inform his office if a house appears vacant. Nothing can be done if his office doesn’t know about a vacant structure. Enforcing laws regarding safety and upkeep takes a lot of time, especially when dealing with absentee owners. It is especially “motivating” if the city has to care for the property and then bill the owners for mowing, etc.
Kevin spoke of a vacant home that is now beyond repair and has been labeled as such to insure that no emergency response personnel enter the unsafe property. He also detailed the laws regarding the paving of the right-of-way/ tree belt. Driveways cannot be widened near the street and the law prohibits paving the public right-of-way.
Q & A followed and Kevin encouraged everyone to contact him, “keep bugging him”, to get things done.

Community Policing – Patrolman Jonathan VanWie and Officer Thomas Sartin
A brief report was given regarding neighborhood incidents. “If you see something, say something.” For non-emergency calls … 584-1800

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
A special announcement was made that neighbor Rob Gatt has agreed to become the new leader for the Southwest Neighborhood Watch. He will be meeting with former watch leader Bill Chisham and with Sgt. Jason Tetu from the SSPD. Rob will be examining the sw neighborhood watch zones, contacting potential zone leaders and performing other duties to re-activate a valuable sw neighborhood organization.

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OLD BUSINESS
Geyser Trail – Wally Elton gave an update on the status of the application for Geyser Trail funds. Geyser Trail is one of the finalists for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding. Award announcements are expected in early October. Wally reported that Saratoga P.L.A.N. has presented our Geyser Trail Coordinator, Supervisor Matt Veitch, with a “Conservation Hero” award for his work on the County Trails Committee and other accomplishments in the city and county.
Adopt-a-Roadside – Raoul Gagné reported on the status of the Geyser Road cleanup and would appreciate additional assistance.
Geyser School – email from Kristen Gatt … 9/27 bottle drive, 9/28 Annual 5K Run, 10/03 Outdoor movie night. Greenfiber dumpsters take paper 24/7. Everything benefits PTO.
Master Gardener – Dave Lauzon has a “soil test kit” and will do free ph tests for members.
Molly gave reports on “curb appeal awards”, backstretch donations and CDTA bus passes.
Geyser Rd./Milton project – Tina Ungeheuer said the project is behind schedule but moving forward. Infrustructure is currently being done.

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New Business
Leaf Collection – “on street” begins Oct. 1st. Be considerate about placement of leaf piles.
Mayor’s Office “open door Fridays” – next will be held Fri. 9/19 from noon to 3pm.
January SWNA election – Offices of Vice President and Recording Secretary. Candyce has agreed to run for V.P. re-election. Nominations sought for Recording Secretary.
SWNA Sept. 2015 meeting date – return meeting to second Tuesday to avoid conflicts.
Fairground Winter Storage – call 885-9701 for information and appointment to store cars, trucks, RV’s, campers & seasonal equipment.
Recognition and “thanks” to Russ Lehr and Tom Stanton for maintaining the flag and flowers at the Veterans Memorial Park throughout the year.

Closing remarks- The November election is an excellent way to send a message to city hall. A strong voter turnout in the sw neighborhood will garner positive attention.

Next meeting will be Tuesday November 11 at 7pm in the Saratoga Eagle Community Room.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50pm.

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