Southwest Neighborhood Association of Saratoga Springs
Minutes – Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The meeting was held in a conference room at the Ball Corporation Metal Container manufacturing facility in Grande Industrial Park, with Steve Diloreto, Plant Manager, and Andrea Miele, Human Resources Manager, attending as plant hosts. Peter Martin, Saratoga County Supervisor, was also a visiting attendee, as were two representatives from Slack Chemical Company, another facility in the industrial park.
SWNA officers’ introductions and reports
President – Molly Gagné opened the meeting at 7:03 PM. She introduced Steve Diloreto and Andrea Miele, thanking them for hosting this special plant tour meeting, and noted the presence of Supervisor Martin. She reminded us of the city’s ongoing UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) project and encouraged residents to attend UDO meetings, participate in group meetings and help shape our community for the future.
Vice President – Candyce Robenstein had no new SWNA items to report.
Treasurer – Dave Lauzon reported SWNA bank balances as of 2/29/16 as follows:
General funds (checking acc’t) – $3,223.69; Geyser Trail earmarked funds – $13,156.48; Total $16,380.17.
Dave noted that the Ball Corporation recently donated $500.00 to the Geyser Trail fund. He asked that members ensure their contact information is up to date. Annual dues were collected at the meeting.
Corresponding Secretary – Margaret Prough reported sending “thank you” letters to Dave Moen and Moise Avramidis of Allerdice Hardware for their excellent presentation at the 11/10/15 SWNA meeting, and also to Steve Diloreto of Ball Corporation for agreeing to host this meeting and to provide a tour of the plant.
Recording Secretary – Karen Villesvik asked attendees for approval of the 11/10/15 meeting minutes: accepted.
Police Report – No report given as officers not present at this special meeting.
Neighborhood Watch – No report given. Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Adopt-a-Roadside – Molly reported the recent SWNA approved purchase of new grippers (litter pickup tools), bringing the total to four. She brought along trash bags and safety vests for volunteers to take home; the grippers, more bags and vests are available on her porch for volunteers to use anytime. She asked that litter pickup be completed within 1 – 2 weeks.
• Safe Routes to School project -The Geyser Road ‘push-light’ at the east entrance to the school is being installed and should be completed within the week. This is a crucial part of the Safe Routes to School sidewalk installation project for Geyser Road School, ensuring a red-light traffic stop on demand for
pedestrians. Eminent Domain proceedings have been approved for one unfinished section of sidewalk. A quick resolution is the goal so that the much needed project can soon be completed.
• Adams Road weight limit request–The Town of Milton has approved the 5 ton weight limit relevant to their end of Adams Road and their signage is in place. Saratoga Springs approved the weight limit and signage will soon go up. Saratoga Springs city school buses have been reminded not to use Adams Road as a through route between Greenfield Center and the bus garage. Molly noted that Steve Diloreto of Ball Corporation began the discussion with city officials to ban heavy trucks and buses from using Adams Road over concerns for safety and pavement degradation.
• Geyser Road Trail update –The trail will be a topic at a public hearing to be held at City Hall on March 15, at 6:40 PM. It was reported that Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., engineering the Geyser Trail, is requesting an additional $97,000 in fees because of planning/design issues. In lieu of attending the public hearing, interested residents should email city council members to voice their support of the trail’s importance and completion.
• Re-election of SWNA positions – A single ballot vote, which was approved at the 11/10/15 meeting, re-elected Molly Gagné as SWNA president, Dave Lauzon as treasurer, and Margaret Prough as corresponding secretary for another term. SWNA member Tom Gibbs cast the ‘yea’ vote.
• Meeting dates for 2016– Due to date conflicts, including this year’s presidential election, SWNA officers have selected the following dates for remaining 2016 meetings, to be held at Saratoga Eagle Community Room:
Tuesday, May 3, Monday September 12, and Tuesday, November 1.
• NYS Primary Day elections – The Board of Elections will train Election Day workers/inspectors for the April 19 primary. If interested please call the Board of Elections at 885-2249.
• Saratoga Springs Public Library free programs –Molly handed out copies of the library’s free program guide booklet, and noted that there are many interesting events/presentations for all ages.
• Saratoga County Soil and Water Conversation Department– The annual spring trees and bare root seedling sales program is open to residents, with many low-cost choices for property beautification or restoration. Order booklets were available to attendees, with orders to be placed by 4/4/16, and pickup to be at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds on 4/22 &4/23.
Sand Dune– Matt Veitch and Molly Gagné met with Saratoga County Planner Jason Kemper on 2/25/16 to
discuss the placement of interperative signage for the protected Geyser Road sand dune. The
dune is a remnant of a prehistoric glacial lake from the last Ice Age of 11,000 to 12,000 years ago, and is a
unique feature of our neighborhood. The dune and protected area will be restored to become a natural
habitat for Blue Lupines and Karner Blue butterflies. With the Safe Routes to School sidewalk in place, the
signage will be seen by many pedestrians. Supervisor Peter Martin voiced support for this proposal.
• Water Quality/Geyser Wellfield – The annual water quality reports are available on the city’s website,
www.saratoga-springs.org . The new report is scheduled for release in April. (In the past they were mailed to residents.)
• Southwest Neighborhood Garage Sale – Liz Igler is organizing this event for the second year. The sale will be held on May 21 and 22, from 9 AM to 3 PM each day. (Participants can set up both days or Saturday only.) Anyone interested in participating should contact Liz as soon as possible; she needs the addresses for guide sheets printed for customers. The garage sale will be advertised on social media, with signage at the entrances to our neighborhoods, and signs for participants to post in front of their homes. Last year 30 homes participated and the sale was a great success. Contact Liz at email@example.com or 369-6490.
Ball Metal Container Plant Tour
Hosts: Steve Diloreto, Plant Manager, and Andrea Miele, Human Resources Manager
Prior to the tour of the metal container manufacturing plant, Steve Diloreto and Andrea Miele gave an interesting power point presentation on Ball Corporation’s history and products and showed an informational video filmed at the Grande Industrial Park facility. Ball Corporation is a very large company with 90 locations in 12 countries, including plants in 13 U.S. states. Ball Corporation produces not only beverage cans but food and household packaging materials. Ball has produced aerospace components including parts for the Hubble satellite telescope. The neighborhood Saratoga facility employs over 150 people and produces over nine million 12 and 16 ounce cans a day.
Ball Corporation was founded in 1880 in Buffalo, NY; with the Saratoga Springs plant built in 1981 to manufacture cans for Budweiser. Beverage can plants are strategically placed to be within cost-effective delivery range to breweries and bottling facilities. Ball Corporation is dedicated to sustainability and community development. Through recycling, they have realized 0 % waste to landfills. Very impressive!! Ball Corporation contributes time and money to a wide range of local community projects, with a strong and successful employee volunteer component.
For safety and sanitation reasons, those who wanted to tour the plant were asked to remove all jewelry and wristwatches, placed in ziplock bags for safekeeping, and to wear safety glasses, earplugs, hairnets and facemasks for anyone congested and coughing or sneezing. Steve and Andrea then conducted a fascinating, up-close tour of the plant, leading us through the busy manufacturing machinery and product paletting/storage areas. This was a very well-attended meeting and tour, with several non-members present – all enjoyed the presentation and tour and learned much about the Ball Metal Container plant, one of our valued corporate neighbors. After the tour, attendees returned to the conference room to retrieve their personal items and our friends at Ball graciously provided a selection of snacks and beverages.
The meeting adjourned informally at the end of the tour at approximately 8:30 PM.
Next meeting will be held at Saratoga Eagle on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at 7 PM.