Last week, Mayor Michael Cinquanti outlined several new ideas and initiatives during his state of the city speech and at the council meeting that followed on January 21. While the main emphasis of the speech was clearly on city finances, there were a few other ideas that stood out and are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
- 18-unit residential apartment building for veterans on Forbes Street
Cinquanti said in his speech, “When Amsterdam native and former rugged ram football star Dave Mendez returned to Amsterdam with his family after over a decade of service as a U.S. naval aviator, he began working on a dream. That dream was to bring fellow veterans to live in the hometown he loves and help them start new productive civilian lives right here in our city.”
According to Cinquanti, Mendez has been purchasing properties on Forbes Street for the project and is now ready to move forward. He also mentioned that another Amsterdam native, Tom Politi, is the architectural designer for the project.
Cinquanti said of Mendez, “He knows from experience that veterans don’t just move into a neighborhood, they become part of its heart and soul, doing whatever needs to be done to make it safer, more vibrant, and to help improve the lives of their neighbors.”
- Neighborhood cooperatives to purchase and rehab property
Cinquanti said in his speech, “We will form a city-wide blight committee, and I will work hard during my time in office to develop a program that permits residents and neighborhoods to partner together to buy, renovate, and then rent or flip distressed properties on their street, using funding packages and tax incentives especially designed for such projects. We do this for out of town developers, so why can’t we do the same for our own private citizens?”
- Combine CHIPS funding and road projects with Johnstown and Gloversville
At the end of the council meeting, Cinquanti said that he had recently took the initiative to contact officials at the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown so see if they would be interested in combining their New York State Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funds (CHIPS) with Amsterdam’s.
“What that would permit us to do is combine our contracts into one and get more asphalt for our dollars and hopefully attract better bidders,” said Cinquanti. “They both indicated they are more than interested.”
He added that he hoped that this initiative might be the first step in a “fruitful relationship” between the three cities, given their similar infrastructures.
(Photo by Tim Becker)