Common council highlights for 11-7-2018

City seeks housing rehab grant –

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Amsterdam Common Council authorized the city to apply for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from New York State. If awarded, grants of up to $30,000 could go to owners of one and two-family homes who live in their homes and meet income requirements. In the past, CDBG grants have been awarded to the city for specific neighborhoods, however this grant could be used for any property in the city. According to Urban Renewal Agency Director Nick Zabawski, there are about 63 people on a waiting list to receive grant funding. The city applied for the same grant last year, but it was not awarded.

Taxicab permit suspension rule proposed

A proposed change to the city’s taxicab permit rules would allow a driver’s permit to be suspended for a period of 60 days if the driver “has been arrested on or accused of any charge which may be deemed as presenting a danger to taxi patrons.” The change adds to an existing rule that calls for the suspension of a permit in the event that a driver has two moving violations within a twelve month period. The ordinance was introduced at the meeting and will be voted on at the next meeting.

Stipend for medical director approved

According to Fire Chief Michael Whitty, Dr. William Fisher has been serving as the fire department’s on-call medical director for many years at no charge. With the increase in responsibility that has come with the operation of the city’s ambulance service, the council approved a $3,000 yearly stipend for Fisher.

Second property auction coming soon

The winning bidders on city-owned properties from the October 25 auction have until the end of this week to pay in full. Council members agreed Tuesday that for any property not paid in full by the deadline, the second-place bidder will be contacted. If a deal with the second-place bidder cannot be reached, the property will be included in a second auction, which according to Alderman Jim Martuscello, could be held within a month’s time. He said that Collar City Auctions is willing to run the auction.

The council rejected the winning bids on 18 properties at a special meeting held last week. However on Tuesday, the council reversed one of those rejections.

Water filter rebuild work approved

Two of five water filters at the Amsterdam Water Treatment Plant will be rebuilt for $153,644. The council approved the expenditure after hearing from Chief Plant Operator Randy Gardinier, taking the amount from the water fund’s contingency line.

Proposed updates to animal control rules

Two changes to the city’s animal control laws were proposed on Tuesday. One would allow dog owners to obtain up to a three-year license to coincide with the dog’s rabies vaccination expiration date. Another change broadens the rules against abandoning or keeping a dog in an unoccupied building to include all animals. Animal Control Officer Gina Kline said at the meeting that she supports the change as she encounters abandoned cats, snakes, or other animals.

Tim Becker

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