Friday, 24 February 2017 12:04
Notes From City Hall
Plans to Develop Agricultural Center at Pitney Meadows Farm A Planned Unit Development (PUD) is being sought for the development of a 35,000+ square-foot agricultural center at the Pitney Meadows Farm on West Avenue. The center would sit on a small non-farming portion of the land. The goal is to provide facilities to allow for direct resident education and interaction with agricultural methods relating to producing healthy and nutritional foods in a sustainable manner. On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously agreed there is merit for review of the zoning amendment, that the City Council would act as Lead Agency in the matter, and voted to seek advisory opinions from the city and county Planning Boards, as well as the Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission. Update on DPW Garage Fire Marilyn Rivers, city director of Risk and Safety, informed the council of insurance implications related to a Jan. 27 fire at the DPW complex on the city’s west side that badly damaged a city garage. The entire metal building will require demolition - save for a small concrete vault – and $25,000 deductible aside, it appears the city’s insurance carrier will cover costs to demolish the building, replace tools and equiptment housed within, and cover costs of a re-built structure on the site. The fire was deemed to have started on the east side of the building in an area that housed a work bench, some chemicals and staining gloves, although more specific information on cause remains undetermined, Rivers said. Saratoga Go! Technology Competition Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan announced a Smart City technology competition - Saratoga Go! – aimed at challenging individuals, small businesses and software companies to create community innovations to improve the local quality of life. The three-month competition kicks off in April, and participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops designed to provide valuable information and resources to aid them in their development of the applications. Participants can submit any solution aimed at developing Smart Cities, and is open to all U.S. residents 13 and older. Workshops will offer training in data, pitching, marketing and customer discovery. At the end of June, participants will pitch their solutions at an event and winners will receive marketing, promotion, cash awards, and other opportunities to promote their apps. Registration information will be uploaded to the city’s website, Madigan said. A presentation by the city’s partners in the program will be made at the next City Council meeting, on March 7. City Sales Tax Receipts Up 3.2 Percent Over Last Year The city received sales tax revenue of about $11.98 million for the 2016 fiscal year, representing a 3.2 percent increase over 2015 receipts, although about $291,000 less than what had been budgeted. “Even though actual receipts were 2 percent less than budgeted, the city continues to see growth in sales tax for the sixth year in a row,” Finance Commissioner Madigan said. “Saratoga County also reported sales tax growth in 2016 by 2.97 percent - another indication of our strong economy not only in the city, but across the county.” Upcoming Meetings The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a meeting 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 at City Hall. The Design Review Commission will hold a meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at City Hall.