Fall’s arrival brings a change to cooler weather, with colorful leaves and outdoor activities at your Town Parks and apples, pumpkins, and other autumn produce to buy and enjoy at local businesses and farm stands.
The new Vosburgh Trails on seventy acres of Town-owned open space adjacent to the Twenty West subdivision are now open to the public and can be accessed at trail heads on Vosburgh Road and Millingstone Drive. Here’s a photo of Wayde Bush of the Water Department doing a final cut after the Parks Department made repeated brush cuts. In the near future, kiosks will be installed with the trail maps, which are downloadable on the Town website. The Parks Department is also laying out a trail that will link Vosburgh Trails to the new French’s Hollow Trail which provides access to the Watervliet Reservoir and the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the Normanskill.
The Fall is a wonderful time to enjoy the Western Turnpike Golf Course which has weekday and other specials for the rest of the season. Please call the Pro Shop at (518) 456-0786 or check the website for details (www.westernturnpike.com).
Fall’s cooler weather is also a popular time for construction projects. In its first full year of in-house paving, the Highway Department paved over nine miles of Town road using over 7,460 tons of paving materials. Highway Superintendent Steve Oliver estimates that the Town’s paving program saved $121,353.39 instead of using private contractors. Almost as important as dollars saved, the in-house paving program allows the Highway Department to accelerate its planned paving and to better schedule work to address special situations or unanticipated emergency events.
If you have traveled over Route 158 over the past several months, you might have noticed contractors digging trenches for a new water line near the Town of Rotterdam boundary. This connection is now active and allows both towns to share water resources during emergencies. In the next year, the Town of Guilderland will construct a pump station which should allow for the Town’s purchase of larger quantities of water. This connection has allowed the Town to connect Route 158 residents who have poor quality or low quantity water to the Town’s water system.
The Rotterdam connection is part of Water Superintendent Tim McIntyre’s plans to meet the Town’s ever-growing demand for water. This newest water source adds to the Town’s diverse water resources which include Town-owned wells, the Watervliet Reservoir (owned by City of Watervliet and located in the Town), and the City of Albany interconnect. Water Superintendent McIntyre has also hired a consultant to review options that would increase the water plant’s capacity to filter water from the Watervliet Reservoir.
The construction site for the new 192 room hotel at Crossgates is a beehive of exciting activity with the infrastructure and foundation work well underway, and the planned enclosing of the five-story hotel in November. The new hotel, with no exits onto Western Avenue and no left entrance, was designed to have minimal traffic impact on Western Avenue. In response to resident inquiries about using the hotel for out of town families, friends and guests, the Town has been advised that the hotel’s opening is planned for the Fall of 2018.
For the second consecutive year, the Household Hazardous Waste Day and Confidential Document Shredding Day on September 23rd was a tremendous success, with 780 residents disposing of two full tractor trailer loads of hazardous waste and one full truck of shredded paper. Thanks to the hard work of Transfer Station and Highway Department employees, and despite the hot and muggy weather, there were no delays, with residents complimenting staff for their professional service. I especially want to thank residents for their generous donations which exceeded $1,000 for the Legion Riders’ Outreach Programs, Guilderland Animal Shelter, and Guilderhaven, and more than a truckload of donated food items for local food banks and pet supplies donated to Guilderhaven.
At its September 19th meeting, the Town Board authorized the Police Department’s purchase of body cameras for all 26 uniformed officers, and vehicle cameras for 13 patrol cars. Chief Carol Lawlor informed the Board that the police had extensively tested various systems and that the equipment’s final cost was about 1/3rd of comparable systems. Chief Lawlor also stated that the Town’s police officers supported this initiative. The body camera videos are automatically downloaded to a server when the officer returns to Town Hall at the end of shift.
I end by recognizing the professional work which has greatly improved the appearance of Town Hall. Building Superintendent Kevin Bernard and Max Batcher repainted the Town Hall sign, lamp posts, and benches, restored landscaping and lawn areas, and daily maintained the property. Sarah Jenkins of the Parks Department planted and carefully cared for beautiful flower beds and decorative plantings. I thank Kevin, Sarah, Max, and summer staff for their efforts.
There is much more going on in your Town. Please check the Town’s website for more information about Town services, upcoming events, 2018 budget materials, and other items of interest, and to share any comments about the website.
Thank you again for taking the time to read these notes.
Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor