Common Council meeting highlights for 10-4-2016

Demolition contract awarded

A bid to demolish nine city-owned properties was approved at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. Ritter and Paratore was the lowest bidder for the job at $247,138. Other bidders included Jackson Demolition, who bid $317,800, Dan’s Hauling who bid $329,700, and Cristo Demolition who bid $469,000. The properties scheduled for demolition are 5-7 Vedder Street, 20 Bayard Street, 258 West Main Street, 46 Union Street, 20 Kimball Street, 55-57 Guy Park Avenue, 92 Grove Street, 24 James Street, and 30 Lyon Street.

Water treatment plant pursues performance investigation

The council approved a $20,000 transfer from the water fund contingency line in order to pay for a water treatment performance investigation. According to Chief Plant Operator Bob Discenza, two of the seven filtration units at the city’s water treatment plant have been experiencing problems with higher-than-normal pressure during back-washing, which is a preventative maintenance operation.

Discenza stressed there is is no issue with the quality of the filtered water delivered by the plant, however the issue may eventually require the replacement of the two filtration units, which may cost as much as $120,000.

Discenza expressed concern that the problem started as early as 2013, only three years after the system went online.

“The plant’s not even five years old,” said Discenza, “I don’t believe it should happen.”

He said he has spoken to the filter’s manufacturer and to at least one other engineering firm but has hit a “dead end” as far as solving the problem. He said the company he plans to hire for the investigation, Barton & Loguidice, was successful in a similar situation in Latham, NY, where they were able to help form an agreement to split the cost of the required repair with the manufacturer.

Support for Danielle’s House homeless shelter approved

The council approved $12,000 to be transferred from the city’s general fund contingency line to support Danielle’s House, a homeless shelter operated by Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. Janine Robitaille, executive director of Interfaith, spoke before the meeting and said that the money would be used for operating expenses at the shelter. She said the organization recently spent approximately $25,000 in materials to renovate the bottom floor of the building on East Main Street, where the shelter is run. She said the shelter plans to spend another $15,000 in the coming weeks to renovate the exterior. The shelter will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting November 14.

New transportation director hired

Mayor Michael Villa announced the hiring of Fabrizia Rodriguez as the new city transportation department director. Villa said she will be a part-time, 30 hour per week employee.

“I think it’s a great hire. [Rodriguez] has some outstanding ideas to move the transportation department forward,” said Villa.

Conflict of interest waiver sought for planning board member

At the beginning of the meeting, a disclosure was read by City Clerk Susan Alibozek, stating that the city is seeking a conflict of interest waiver for Danielle Whelly in accordance with federal laws. Whelly works as an economic development specialist for Montgomery County, and serves on the City of Amsterdam Planning Commission. According to the statement, Whelly will recuse herself from any vote on the planning commission that is related to her work at the county.

Tim Becker

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