Friday, 06 January 2017 11:12
Notes from City Hall
Moody’s Investors Service Upgrades City’s Outstanding Bonds Rating Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan announced this week that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the City’s bond rating on its outstanding bonds from Aa3 to Aa2. The city has $52.5 million in general obligation bonds outstanding. This is comparable to the AA+ awarded by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) for each of the past five years, all during Madigan’s tenure, the commissioner said. The revised rating reflects “the city’s strong fiscal management as evidenced by recent consecutive years of surplus operations, strong reserve levels, conservative budgeting, and consistent operating surpluses,” according to Moody’s. “The city’s healthy financial position will likely remain stable.” In outlining credit challenges Moody’s noted that the city should look to “additional revenue sources needed to augment eventual elimination of VLT aid”, and noted the city has a “reliance on economically sensitive revenues.” UDO Advisory Committee Announces Series of Public Meetings at Music Hall The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Technical Review Advisory Committee (TRAC) will host a series of meetings, open to the public, at the Saratoga Music Hall through the spring. Similar to City Council meetings – although earlier in the day - the UDO gatherings will take place the first and third Tuesday of the month, beginning on Jan. 17. According to the city, the UDO is a tool which combines traditional zoning and subdivision regulations into one, easy-to-read reference document. It is intended to eliminate redundant or conflicting code provisions, and help to streamline the review and approval process and clarify the steps and requirements with clear illustrations and language. The city began work on a UDO 12 months ago. The goals of the project are to update existing zoning and subdivision regulations to be in conformance with the newly-adopted Comprehensive Plan; to research and implement new initiatives which would improve the overall sustainability of the city with regards to energy consumption, stormwater management, solar power, walkability and similar measures, and to combine and reformat various development standards into one, single unified document which is easy to read and understand, with improved efficiency and a more streamlined review and approval process. The project is funded by a Cleaner, Greener Communities grant provided by NYSERDA. The TRAC provides the technical input to carry out the continuing, cooperative and comprehensive planning process for the UDO. Meetings will take place 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7, March 21, April 4 and April 18. Upcoming Meetings The Zoning Board of Appeals will host a public meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9 at City Hall. New business to be discussed includes: Subdivision - 58 Fifth Ave. area variance for a two-lot subdivision; Garage - 111 Catherine St. area variance to finish the interior of an existing garage; Residence - 101 North Street, area variance for additions to an existing single-family residence; Two-Family - 63 Ash St. area variance to construct a detached garage/dwelling unit; Two-Family - 217 Caroline St. area variance for an addition to an existing multi-family residence. Old Business: The Springs Signs - 60 and 74 Weibel Avenue, area variance for additions to two existing freestanding signs. The Saratoga Springs Board of Ethics will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 at City Hall. The Planning Board will host a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 at City Hall.