So far, it’s been a very quiet start to the winter season, but we know that could quickly change. If you’re interested in winter activities, Town parks offer wide-ranging recreational opportunities, including snowshoeing and groomed cross-country skiing at the Western Turnpike Golf Course, sledding at the Winter Recreation Area, and winter hiking at Tawasentha Park. If you’re interested in renting snowshoes or cross-country skis, please remember that rentals are only available during weekday hours at the Parks & Recreation Department’s Office. Please call the Parks’ Office at 456-3150 if you have any questions.
On Wednesday, December 20th, from 1:00 – 5:00pm, the Parks & Recreation Department will be hosting its annual Centerpiece and Wreath Making Workshop at the Parks & Recreation building. Please visit the Town website for more information or sign up online at www.guilderlandrec.com.
Starting January 2, 2018, Tawasentha Park’s three pavilions, including the restored Chalet building, can be reserved for outings and special events at the Parks’ Office. The Western Turnpike Golf Course is offering early bird discounted 2018 memberships until the end of December for residents and non-residents. More information, including a membership application, is available at www.westernturnpike.com/membership.
The Town recently added video on demand on the Town website which allows viewers to watch recorded video of Town, Planning, and Zoning Boards meetings as well as special events. The recorded videos will be indexed which will allow a viewer to access video of an agenda item by clicking on the requested item. A selected video is viewed on the Town’s website and does not require the use of You Tube or other third-party channels. Like the website itself, the video adjusts for viewing on smart phones. Recordings of prior meetings will be added to the video library. I want to thank Linda Cure, Public Relations Officer, and Jeff Gregory, Network & Systems Technician, for integrating this latest improvement into the Town’s expanding sources of readily accessible information.
As you may know, the Town has a rapidly expanding sidewalk system and an increasing need for snow removal to keep these vital pedestrian connections open. This difficult work is performed by Parks Department employees with sidewalk plows kept in good working order by Highway Department mechanics. To meet this growing need, the Town recently acquired its fourth sidewalk plow which, as shown in the attached photograph, can also be fitted with a mower attachment to brush cut large open spaces and maintain grass fields in Town Parks and Transfer Station. As with other acquisitions, this used sidewalk plow was purchased at a substantial discount and refitted by the Highway Department. This additional snow plow will allow the Town to have three snow plows in action, with one in reserve, to more quickly clear sidewalks. Please be watchful for sidewalk plows. With inclement weather, poor lighting conditions, noise of the machines, and snow banks, it can be difficult for operators to see you so please help by staying clear of their work area.
I would again like to draw your attention to work performed by Town employees that can be overlooked. The Town’s Department of Emergency Medical Services is charged with providing pre-hospital medical care to the sick and injured in the Town of Guilderland, Town of Knox and surrounding areas in mutual aid situations. Over the past year, the EMS Department responded to 6,227 emergency calls – that’s an average of 17 calls per day. The EMS Department is recognized by its peers as setting the benchmark in the region for providing superior emergency medical services. The EMS Department employs the most advanced medications and procedures that are currently practiced by pre-hospital providers. The Town’s Advanced Life Support System is unique in that it includes a physician’s response to high acute emergencies. Dr. Donald Doynow, the Department’s Medical Director, responds to emergencies such as cardiac arrest, severe trauma, pediatric emergencies and difficult airway calls. With its state of the art equipment, training, medical direction, and oversight, the EMS Department strives to provide optimal care to residents. I want to thank the women and men of the EMS Department for their dedicated service and professionalism.
Town offices will be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st. The safety of Town residents and employees is paramount so, if bad weather is anticipated or taking place, please call ahead or check the Town website to make sure that Town offices are open. The Town will also issue updates on closings and weather impacts on Town services by using Nixle, a free text and email service.
Thank you for taking the time to read these notes. I want to thank Lowell Knapp of Our Towne Guilderland for providing the space for this column and helping the Town share news and events with its residents. Upon behalf of the Town and its employees, we hope that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor