Minutes November 10, 2016

Southwest Neighborhood Association of Saratoga Springs
Meeting Minutes – Thursday, November 10, 2016

The meeting was held in the Community Room at Saratoga Eagle in Grande Industrial Park, with guest speaker Commissioner Scirocco. Also attending were Lt. Shane Crooks and Investigator Steve Reside of Saratoga Springs Police Department.

SWNA officers’ introductions and reports

President – Molly Gagné opened the meeting at 7:02PM. Leo Demers read the WWI poem “In Flanders Fields” in
honor of Veterans Day.
Vice President – Candyce Robenstein mentioned that the Wilton Elks will hold a “flag retirement” for worn flags
and is hosting a free meal for veterans. She also spoke of the upcoming Saratoga Festival of Trees on
11/29/16 – 12/4/16 and organized by Catholic Charities. Volunteers still needed.
Treasurer – Dave Lauzon – absent but provided the following financial data:
General funds (checking acc’t) – $3,271.76; Geyser Road Trail earmarked funds – $13,161.38; Total of $16,433.14
Expenditures – $86.00 for P.O. box fee, $21.00 for Curb Appeal Awards, and $9.64 for copies.
Annual membership dues for 2017 are $10.00 and can be mailed to SWNA, P.O. Box 4783, Saratoga Springs, NY.
Corresponding Secretary – Margaret Prough reported she sent a thank you to Cheryl Ann Murphy-Parant, Director of Code Blue, for her presentation at the 9/12/16 meeting.
A comment followed that Schenectady is allegedly sending homeless people to Saratoga; also mentioned was that donations are always accepted by Soul Saving Station for Every Nation Church for the shelter.
Recording Secretary – Karen Villesvik asked attendees for approval of the 9/12/16 meeting minutes: accepted.

Community Policing – Lt. Shane Crooks reported the SSPD responded to 100 calls and 35 reports in our sw neighborhood, all of the “normal type”, There were no burglaries or larcenies. He gave our neighborhood an “A”!
Attendee comments included ongoing vandalism on one street, vehicles speeding through the Geyser School zone, and complaints about a large boat blocking an intersection. Although the boat may be a code enforcement issue, the officers said they would inspect the site after the meeting.
The anonymous tip line is 584-TIPS (8477).
The non-emergency number for SSPD is 584-1800.

Investigator Steve Reside oversees the city’s sex offender registry. He gave a PowerPoint presentation about the registry and categories of offenders. He said that the Saratoga Police Department’s sex offender program is highly regarded, with all known local offenders currently compliant with the regulations/requirements of their release. As of the meeting date there are 4 level three offenders, 8 level two offenders, and 14 level one offenders living in the city. Investigator Reside’s division is involved with discovering and prosecuting internet sex crimes, child porn, and child prostitution. He can be reached at sreside@saratogapolice.org ; more information on sex crimes can be found at criminaljustice.ny.gov .

Neighborhood Watch – Rob Gatt – absent. Report any incidents or concerns to swnawatch@yahoo.com

Old Business

• Curb Appeal Awards–Members who distributed the award flowers were asked for feedback from the lucky recipients.
• Welcome Letters – A welcome letter that introduces new neighbors to the SWNA will be drafted and made available in March.
• Veterans Memorial sign – Russ Lehr and Tom Stanton reported that a new flag will be hung in 2 weeks. The light has been mounted but not yet activated. Fall mums will be removed soon. A wreath will be hung in December.
• Safe Routes to School project–Molly reported that the matter of eminent domain for the unfinished portion of the sidewalk has gone to court as the property owner refused settlement with the city. Everyone is anxious to have the sidewalk completed on the south side of Geyser Rd.
• Adopt-a-Roadside – Last litter pickup before winter! – as always, safety vests, bags and grabbers are available.

• Geyser Road Trail – A letter of appreciation was presented to the City Council for their support of the Geyser Road Trail and work on implementing the trail continues with approval of the Rt. 50/Geyser Rd intersection safe crossing changes. Trail construction is to be done in 2017.

• Bikeatoga– Call Doug Haller at 577-0286 if you have a bike to donate and need assistance getting it to the Bikeatoga workshop in St. Peter’s Church cellar. The website is www.bikeatoga.org
• “Zombie properties” – The NYS hotline for reporting abandoned and derelict properties is 1-800-342-3736. Progress is good with a demo and rebuild on Hathorn. Another nearby house was sold and is being rehabbed.
• Charter Review Commission – SWNA member Devin DalPos is on the Commission. Upcoming public informational meetings are 11/10 – “strong mayors”, 11/22 – current drafting, 11/29 – survey results, 12/13 – alternate forms of government, and another meeting on 1/10.
• Gateway designation for Geyser Road – South Broadway and Union Ave. have “gateway” designations. What does the designation by the city do for the area? A volunteer is needed to explore this issue.
• Code Enforcement – Code Officer Jack Donnelly sent a message that he’s very pleased with the progress on “zombie properties” and with SWNA participation in using the NYS hotline.

New Business

• Officer re-election – The current SWNA Vice President and Recording Secretary were re-elected by single ballot, with motion made, seconded and approved.
• Eliminate January meeting – After discussion, a motion was made to eliminate the January meeting. Meetings will be held in March, May, September and November. Approved by unanimous vote.
• By-Law changes – The SWNA by-laws will need to be examined for possible changes to accurately reflect tonight’s vote.

Guest Speaker
Commissioner Scirocco, Department of Public Works

In introducing Commissioner Scirocco to the meeting, Molly requested that topics such as those on the agenda handout be discussed in general terms, avoiding specific addresses related to problems. If members have specific questions and comments they are invited to use “comment slips” provided and include contact info. Completed forms were given to the Commissioner at end of meeting.
Commissioner Scirocco covered many issues affecting our neighborhood:
 He regretted the lack of flower planting/maintenance this summer on the city property at the corner of Quevic and Hathorn; it was proposed that SWNA volunteers might help with this annual task, and Skip said that if so, DPW would supply the mulch, flowers, etc., and that SWNA could certainly post an “adoption” sign.
 This winter DPW will supply a free sand pile with no salt added on the same corner for residents.
 The construction debris on Casino at the sanitary pump station was left by the contractor and will be removed promptly; shrubs will be planted to mask this site.
 Leaf pickup is ongoing, as this year autumn has been late and prolonged.
 In answer to a request, Skip said that he had no problem with “a nicely done” SWNA Community Garage Sale sign being temporarily posted at the corner of Geyser Road and Cady Blvd. .
 A storm drain along Geyser Rd, under Eureka Dr. will be reviewed by experts for improvement due to flooding issues; many drains are repeatedly collapsing due to the sandy foundation in the sw neighborhood, requiring extensive repairs.
 City compost can be purchased (prices listed on city website) and delivered by city dump truck at a minimum of 7 cubic yards, or a lesser amount can be picked up by residents with pickup trucks at the site on Weibel Avenue.
 There was discussion of proposing a hazardous waste collection for the city in the Spring.
Commissioner Scirocco entertained many questions and suggestions. His responses were very well-received.

The meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.

Next meeting will be held at Saratoga Eagle on March 14, 2017, at 7 PM.

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