Common Council meeting highlights for 10-18-2016

Council hears proposal from Siemens for energy efficiency upgrades

At a committee meeting on Tuesday, representatives of Siemens Corporation presented a draft proposal to complete approximately $2.8 million in energy efficiency upgrades to City Hall and other city properties. Representatives proposed improvements such as replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lighting, replacing old boilers, air circulation systems, electrical transformers, as well as purchasing city street lights from National Grid.

According to Joe Higgins, project developer, the energy savings from the upgrades over 15 years would cover the cost of the work and an additional $500,000 which could be used for other capital improvements. In order to fund the work, Higgins said that Siemens would provide the city with a fixed rate lease that would not contribute to the city’s debt load. Additionally, Siemens would guarantee their projected savings amount, and would compensate the city if saving came in below the projection.

New transportation director identifies department faults, opportunities

After three full weeks on the job, Transportation Director Fabrizia Rodriguez gave a report before the common council on Tuesday outlining the problems she has seen in the department, as well as areas where she hopes to improve.

The first problems Rodriguez identified included “loose implementation of [human resources] policy, accounting, follow up with project improvements, follow up with business supporters who want to invest in the department.”

Rodriguez also said, “Rider satisfaction is down…there’s lack of communication, people don’t know the route systems, people don’t know the fares, all the wonderful opportunities we provide to Albany and back. There’s a lot of issues with communicating with our riders.”

According to Rodriguez, she had discovered the department had previously applied for and was granted state funding that would cover 90% of the cost for new communication, GPS, and camera equipment, but had not moved forward with requesting bids. She also said she found 25 new bus stop signs that were never put up.

In addition to going ahead with the equipment purchases, Fabrizia said she will seek additional state funding for new benches and shelters which will include the ability to display advertising and will also begin recruiting advertising sponsors.

She also said that adding additional routes to large employers in the area, including the casino under construction in Schenectady, would allow the city to receive an additional $50,000 per year from the state.

Other ideas Rodriguez said she would be pursuing include reaching out area organizations and the school district to talk about possible cost sharing, hiring additional drivers to ensure reliability, and opening a route on Saturday to shopping centers on Route 30.

Controller’s report

According to Controller Matt Agresta, the city has submitted the 2014-2015 Annual Update Document to New York State. He said the state responded with 11 questions, mostly related to prior-year adjustments that were filed after the 2013-2014 audit. Agresta said his goal is to have the AUD accepted in time to schedule an audit for 2014-2015 at the end of November. Agresta said he also hopes to have the 2015-2016 AUD submitted by February 2017 at which point the city would be current on its required financial reporting to the state.

Sale of city properties

The Common Council approved the following properties to be sold, based on the recommendation of the Property Disposition Committee:

Address Sold to Amount
13 Edward St Raymond Sefrin $3,500.00
1 James St Michael Kordyjak & Richard Mucilli $15,000.00
7 Elizabeth St John Kicinski $2,000.00
11 Brandt Pl Edward Delli Veneri $551.51
241 W Main Stt Richard J. DiMatteo $600.00
23 Union St Arlene Bronski $400.00
307 Florida Ave David N. Nelson $2,500.00


Garage sale ordinance approved

The Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance that requires all garage sales in the city to be registered with the City Clerk’s office, and which regulates the duration and other aspects of the sale.

Tim Becker

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