March 15, 2016 common council highlights

  • Mayor Michael Villa said during the communications portion of Tuesday’s common council meeting that he is considering an offer from the Greater Amsterdam School District to take over ownership of the former Clara S. Bacon elementary school building. Villa said he is only looking at possibilities, but would like to see whether the move would be beneficial to the community.

    “If that building goes up for auction for sale, who knows who is going to buy it, and who knows what they’re going to put in it. It’s a good neighborhood,” said Villa after the meeting.

    The building is currently partially occupied by Whispering Pines Preschool, and the gymnasium is used for city recreation department events. Villa said he would like to see if revenues from the building could be used for renovations.

    Villa said the building would not take the place of the proposed recreation center, plans for which include an indoor track and playing field.

  • Villa also said after meeting with NY State Department of Transportation officials, with Town of Amsterdam Supervisor Thomas DiMezza, and Town of Florida Supervisor Eric Mead, that both towns now have permission to mow state-owned land at the entrance-ways to the city.

    “The state only cuts in April, or early May, then you don’t see them again until September or October. They have 740 miles of road to cut, and they only have four mowers,” said Villa.

    Villa said the two towns will now begin maintaining the state owned land, including medians, at no charge to the city.

    “It’s their entrance-ways as well as ours. They have the personnel, they have the time to do it,” said Villa after the meeting.
  • Controller Matt Agresta said he hopes to have the required paperwork for the city to officially take ownership of several hundred foreclosed properties filed by next week. He urged the common council to move quickly to pick properties they believe should be sold rather than auctioned, given the auction company needs a six-week lead time before they can hold an auction.
  • The council passed a resolution authorizing the Wolf Law Group to look into whether the city should receive additional compensation from it’s property insurance provider for hail damage to city owned buildings sustained during a storm in 2014. Under the contract, the firm will only be compensated if they are able to secure additional proceeds from they city’s insurance company.

    Villa said after the meeting that he did not believe the city’s current broker, Adirondack Trust, fought hard enough to to secure compensation from the city’s property insurance carrier NYMIR.

    “We did not get what we thought we should have gotten,” said Villa.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.