Common council meeting highlights for 2-7-2017

All but two property auction bids approved

At Tuesday’s meeting, the common council voted to approve all but two of 36 city-owned properties that received bids at the last month’s auction. The original resolution approving all the properties was at first voted down 2-3, with aldermen Jim Martuscello and Chad Majewski casting the two yes votes.

Alderman Rodney Wojnar made a motion to re-consider the resolution, which passed unanimously. Alderman Ed Russo then made a motion to amend the resolution to exclude three properties: 273-275 Division Street, 23 Henry Street, and 226 Market Street.

Controller Matt Agresta cited the city’s codes department as reporting that the bidder for the Division Street and Henry Street properties has had previous issues with code violations on other properties. Agresta said the department had not found any previous violations with the bidder on the Market Street property.

Martuscello then proposed an amendment which would re-include the Market Street property for approval. The amendments and the amended resolution all passed unanimously.

Resolutions passed to move ambulance service forward

The council approved two resolutions authorizing the mayor to enter into contracts essential for the city’s ambulance service to take shape. One resolution authorized the mayor to enter into a contract with Leasing 2 to provide lease financing for an ambulance vehicle and other related equipment such as a defibrillator, stretcher, and stair chair. The vendor who will provide the vehicle and equipment has yet to be determined. The council also gave approval for the mayor to enter into a contract with Multi-Med to provide medical billing services.

Duchessi updates council on grant related work

John Duchessi of TGW Consulting Group Inc. updated the common council on work his firm has done for the city over the past year. The city awarded the firm a $25,000 contract early last year to provide grant writing services.

Duchessi said that a grant application submitted by his firm on behalf of the city to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to fund expansion of the East Main Street park was not awarded. However, he pointed out that Montgomery County had also put in a grant application at the same time on behalf of the city for the South Side park, which was awarded.

Duchessi, who also serves as Montgomery County Legislator, said,  “We have to work a little bit more on coordinating which of these applications go in and when. I’ve already spoken to the mayor about that, so that kind of thing won’t happen again. We don’t want to put in a competing project, a project that competes with another strong project,” said Duchessi.

He said the firm is currently working on a grant application to acquire a new fire truck for the fire department, and has assisted the city with other grant-related tasks such as helping with requests for proposals related to grants already received by the police and fire department.

Council hears energy performance contract pitch

The council heard from representatives of Johnson Controls who are competing for an energy performance contract with the city. The company has done a preliminary survey of the city’s buildings and infrastructure and estimates they can save the city somewhere between 20% and 30% per year on energy costs by upgrading various heating and cooling systems at City Hall and the Public Safety Building, and purchasing street lights from National Grid and switching to use LED lights. They estimate the total project cost could run anywhere between $2.5 to $4 million. As part of the contract, the company would provide financing, and guarantee the cost savings, which would cover the cost of the financing. The council heard a similar proposal from Siemens Corporation last October.

2017 golf course rates approved

Golf course commission chairman Matt Ossenfort presented the council with the new golf course rates for 2017. The rates remain largely unchanged from last year with the exception of a reduction in the junior membership rate from $150 to $100, an increase in the late cart storage fee from $50 to $100, and various changes to the daily greens fees. Download the new rates in pdf format here.

Tim Becker

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