Friday, 14 October 2016 11:02
Notes from City Hall: Going Wireless Downtown
Saratoga Springs Smart City Commission Presents Roadmap To Broadband Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, along with independent technology consulting company NYSTEC, will present Smart City Roadmap 1.0 during Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council. Roadmap 1.0 is the culmination of work by the Smart City Commission over the past six months, and will help leverage existing broadband infrastructure and funding streams to foster sustainable economic growth and enhance the quality of life for all residents, according to Madigan. “Addressing infrastructure needs - fiber, cable, wifi - lays the foundation of a Smart City. The way we use that foundation - emergency management, energy and electricity, transportation, business economy, sustainability - defines us as an Intelligent Community,” Madigan said, in a statement. The Smart City Commission Members appointed by Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan: Assistant Superintendent for the Saratoga Springs School District David L’Hommedieu; Vice President and CIO of Saratoga Hospital John Mangona; Saratoga Springs Public Library Computer Services Manager Donald Flinton; Skidmore College CIO William Duffy; Empire State College CIO Christopher Markham; National Grid Program Manager Kimberly Ireland; City of Saratoga Springs Director of IT Kevin Kling; Members at Large: Art Ware, Tim Holmes, Christopher Thompson; Matt Jones and Todd Shimkus of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce; Todd Garofano and Tom Newkirk of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. Saratoga Springs County Supervisor Matthew Veitch, Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership President Martin Vanags. UDO Summary Report Makes Its Way To The City Council Twelve months ago, the city began work on a Unified Development Ordinance. By definition, UDO is a tool which combines traditional zoning and subdivision regulations along with other development standards for items such as design guidelines, stormwater management, and signs or street standards, into an easy-to-read reference document. The UDO is intended to eliminate redundant or conflicting code provisions, help streamline the review and approval process, and clarify steps and requirements. Initial community meetings began taking place in February and a Zoning Diagnostic Report – a summary of the major issues, in advance of the UDO - may be read at: https://saratogaspringsudo.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/16_0829-zoning_diagnostic_final-draft2.pdf. The document has been making its way through the city’s Land Use Boards, and on Oct. 18 is expected to be discussed by the City Council. City Center Parking Garage Modifications Get DRC Approval The Design Review Commission unanimously approved a modification to the design of the proposed Saratoga Springs City Center Parking structure. “We’ve had an enlightening development in our project - a modest modification of the south façade,” City Center Authority President Mark Baker told DRC members during its meeting at City Hall last week. Improvements include an “opening up” of the building corner at street level to better signify the new main entrance of the building, and the incorporation of a frameless glass system. Budget Season Underway Public budget workshops will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and Monday, Oct. 24 at City Hall. The city’s proposed operating budget in 2017 will top $45.5 million – an approximate three percent increase over 2016 – but will contain no increase in taxes for city taxpayers, as proposed by city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan. The $45.52 million plan marks an increase of $1.51 million over the 2016 budget, with contractual wages and health insurance accounting for nearly all of the change. The first of two public hearings will take place at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in advance of the City Council meeting. The council must adopt a budget by Nov. 30; if it doesn’t, the proposed comprehensive budget will become the 2017 adopted budget. The 2017 budget proposal can be viewed on the city’s website at www.saratoga-springs.org. Upcoming City Meetings: City Council - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. Pre-agenda meeting – 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17. Design Review Commission Meeting – 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19.