Common council meeting highlights for 2-21-2017

Accounting firm contract extended to handle 2016 bank reconciliations

The Amsterdam Common Council approved an extension of services for the accounting firm Freed Maxick to complete bank reconciliations from January 2016 to December 2016, as well as to help reconcile the city’s capital projects accounting. The cost of extending the services was capped at $14,500.

The firm was originally hired under a $33,000 contract in 2016 to complete bank reconciliations from July 2014 to December 2015.

Agresta said utilizing the firm will be necessary to reach his goal of completing the required financial reporting for the city’s 2015-2016 finances by April.

“We have the capability to do these [bank reconciliations] ourselves. But it’s only going to take us two to three times as long because its a new process for us and we’re looking backwards while still trying to do current reconciliations,” said Agresta.

City to seek two additional brownfield opportunity area designations

Montgomery County will apply for two Brownfield Opportunity Area designations on behalf of the City of Amsterdam. A public hearing before the council meeting was held at which Danielle Whelly, economic development specialist for the county, said that the designations will help the city to qualify for grants and tax credits in the areas.

Currently, the city has one BOA designation that incorporates the south side and downtown areas. The county will apply for an “East End” area defined by the Mohawk river on the south, Liberty Street on the west, Forbes Street on the north, and the eastern boundary of the city. The “Northern Neighborhood” area will be defined by Market Street and Locust Avenue on the west, Lyon Street on the northwest, Hewitt Street, Sloane Avenue and Forest Avenue on the east, and Edward Street, Kellog Street and Church Street on the south.

Mayor to seek funds to spruce up Shuttleworth

Mayor Michael Villa said he plans to seek funds for Shuttleworth Park for projects such as adding new bathroom facilities, constructing a locker room, and other maintenance work.

“I’m meeting with state and county officials tomorrow to address additional funding for Shuttleworth Park. I think it’s critical that we involve our state officials. Shuttleworth is a critical component to our city. We need to keep it updated and keep it viable,” said Villa.

The park is currently utilized by the Amsterdam Mohawks, a summer collegiate baseball team, Union College’s baseball team, and many other amateur sports leagues and teams.

Villa said other communities in the area have recently received funds to upgrade ballparks.

“We want to make sure we’re not left out on anything,” said Villa. “I think Shuttleworth, with the history that it has, is well deserving of any funds the state may be able to provide.”

City maps on order to help promote tourism

The council authorized $7,000 to be spent from the mayor’s budget line to purchase 15,000 copies of a tri-fold map that identifies points of interest in the city. Villa said the maps will be placed at thruway rest stops and other locations in the area in order to attract tourists to the city.

Michael McKenney steps down from AIDA

Michael McKenney submitted a letter of resignation from the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency board on Monday. Council members said they did not have anyone in mind yet for a replacement. Board members for AIDA, a public benefit corporation that leads economic development projects in the city, are appointed by the council.

Tim Becker

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