Thursday, 08 June 2023 12:12

City News: A New 6 PM Start for Saratoga Springs Council Meetings

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Council staged its first meeting of the month on Tuesday, June 6. The meeting began at 6 p.m., a one-hour earlier start-time than the regular 7 p.m. start of meetings during the past several years. The new 6 p.m. start is expected to remain in place in future meetings.    

Proposal to Prohibit Firearm Possession While Intoxicated Tabled, For Now

A vote to create a new section in the City Code to prohibit possession of firearms in a public place while intoxicated or impaired by drugs, was tabled Tuesday night.   

The proposal currently instructs that no person shall be intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs or a combination of alcohol or drugs in a public place while possessing a firearm. A “public place” is defined as any public highway, public street, public sidewalk, public parking area or in any vehicle or vessel or premise open or accessible to the public. Intoxicated and impaired by alcohol and/or drugs is defined under NY DWI and related case law. 

Some revisions to the proposal are anticipated to take place and the measure is expected to return to the council table at a future meeting. 

Co-Chairs Appointed to Restorative Justice Panel

-City Mayor Ron Kim announced the appointment of Rev. Heather Williams and Camille Davis as co-chairs of the newly approved Restorative Justice Panel. 

Last month, the City Council, by a 4-1 vote, approved a resolution that acknowledges “Saratoga Springs has supported and allowed racism and hate” during its history, and set the groundwork for the formation of an 11-member Restorative Justice review panel. That panel is charged with providing the council recommendations of what form restorative justice in the city should take.  A report is anticipated to be presented to the council by late December 2023. 

Rules for Homeless Shelter: minimum of 1,000 feet from schools 

-The city seeks to create a Local Law ensuring any homeless shelter sited in Saratoga Springs be located a minimum of 1,000 feet from the grounds of any Primary or Secondary educational facility. As such, the council approved forwarding its intent to the city Planning Board to amend the Unified Development Ordinance. The UDO is the so-called “rule book” for land development in Saratoga Springs.

City Receives AA+ Rating

-Finance Commissioner Minita Sanghvi provided the council with Standard & Poor’s Report, in which S&P Global Ratings assigned to Saratoga Springs an ‘AA+’ rating. 

“This is great news,” Commissioner Sanghvi told the council. “What this means is Saratoga Springs has a strong economy.” 

 “After some revenue disruption in fiscal 2020, the city has returned to positive operations,” reads the report in its credit overview. 

It also documents a stable outlook for the city: “The stable outlook reflects S&P Global Ratings’ opinion of Saratoga Spring’s strong budgetary performance, supported by good financial-management policies, practices, resulting in very strong reserves, which we expect will likely continue during our two-year outlook,” according to the report. 

City Climate Action Plan Draws Multiple Bidders

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City received seven bids in response to its call for consultants to collaborate with the city to define and create a Climate Action Plan.

The bids, unsealed on June 6, ranged from a low of $57,500 (from Climate Action Associates LLC) to a high of $75,000 (Anchor QEA Engineering PLLC). 

The scope of services request that the consultant engage city staff and commissioners to secure feedback on planning aspects that impact various city departments. Additionally, its requests consultants host a Public Meeting to present general information and benefits to the public, develop an inventory and gather data related to city emissions, identify climate action goals, set GHG reduction targets for city operations, and finalize a Climate Action Plan. 

On December 20, 2011, the Saratoga Springs City Council unanimously approved the Climate Smart Communities Resolution and pledged to be a Climate Smart City.

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