With this first Supervisor’s Notes of 2018, I extend my appreciation to my fellow Town employees for their professional and courteous service to residents and businesses in 2017. I also thank Lowell Knapp, the publisher of Our Towne Guilderland, for including these monthly notes which help keep residents informed of happenings in our Town.
As with prior years’ opening notes, I am providing an abbreviated “State of the Town of Guilderland for 2018.” With the support of the Town Board, the Town intends to pursue the following actions to further advance the quality of life for residents:
- Starting the revaluation of all real property in the Town.
- Awarding construction contracts for installing storm water infrastructure improvements to alleviate the flooding of basements in McKownville homes.
- Awarding construction contracts for a sidewalk on Western Avenue from Regency Park to the Guilderland Public Library with a cross-walk to the Guilderland Elementary School, and a sidewalk on West Old State Road from Carman Road to Lynnwood Elementary School.
- Working with DOT on the design of the proposed improved Carman Road and Lydius Street intersection, with new sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Working with DOT on its planned repaving Western Avenue from the City line to the Northway, with added bicycle lanes and enhanced pedestrian accommodations.
- Awarding contracts for a new pump station and adding infrastructure that will link Guilderland and Rotterdam water systems.
- Awarding a contract for the planning of hiking trails linking neighborhoods with parks and open spaces.
- Continue acquiring land and adding improvements for parks, playfields, and open space.
- Further enhancing the Town’s website by providing more online forms and access to public records, and adding to on-demand video content.
The safety of residents and Town employees is paramount at all times but our winter weather gives rise to special concerns.Please remember that overnight parking is prohibited on Town roads during winter months and that motorists should keep a safe distance from Highway Department trucks.Please help our Town firefighters by keeping fire hydrants free of snow and ice, and making sure that your house street number is visible from the road.
Our Town park system is open for winter recreation activities, including snowshoeing, groomed cross-country skiing, and sledding. Please check the Parks and Recreation Department’s webpage or call the Parks Office at (518) 456-3150 for information on current conditions and activities.
I also want to thank Town employees who provided essential services to residents over the Christmas holiday. Highway Department employees sacrificed time with their families to keep Town roads free of snow and ice by working long hours on Christmas Eve and Day. Parks Department employees also spent the Christmas holiday clearing snow from more than 20 miles of sidewalks.
I also want to recognize Lynne Buchanan, Receiver of Taxes, and her staff for their extraordinary work which allowed residents to prepay 2018 property taxes in 2017 to mitigate the double taxation caused by recent federal tax legislation. Late on Friday, December 22nd, the Governor empowered local tax collectors to receive early payments. Over the Christmas weekend, Lynne worked with County tax officials to obtain the warrant which was required for her collection in 2017 of 2018 property tax bills. Lynne also ensured that the Town’s vendor could prepare tax bills, and provide mailing and online payment options. Through her efforts, the Town was the first municipality to start collecting 2018 property taxes on Tuesday, December 26th.
Over the next four days, including during extended hours on Thursday and Friday evenings, Lynne and her deputy Amanda Beedle, along with invaluable assistance from Heather Wienhold and Melissa Wood in the Assessor’s Office, who answered hundreds of phone calls and emails from residents about prepayment options, and accepted in-person payments from 1414 residents totaling over $4.2 million. Hundreds of residents also mailed or paid online the 2018 property tax bills through December 31st. I received numerous compliments from residents for these Town employees’ kindness, efficiency and professionalism. I thank Lynne, Amanda, Heather and Melissa for helping residents deal with the consequences of the federal tax bill.
The end of 2017 brings the retirement of Linda Cure who, for more than 10 years, headed the Town’s summer recreational program and GPAC schedule. Linda’s tireless efforts touched the lives of countless children and families. Linda was also instrumental in upgrading the Town’s website and adding video content, and enhancing the transparency of Town government. I join with fellow residents in wishing Linda a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement.
On behalf of the Town of Guilderland and its employees, we wish all of our residents, their families, and businesses a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.
Peter G. Barber, Town of Guilderland Supervisor