Displaying items by tag: ballston spa
Ballston Spa Awarded $153,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Grant
BALLSTON SPA — The village of Ballston Spa has been awarded a $153,000 competitive grant from the New York Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program for a BOA Nomination Plan.
Brownfields are neighborhoods or areas within a community negatively affected by real or perceived environmental conditions. The properties often are underutilized because the contamination, or perception of contamination, has impeded investment and redevelopment.
New York State Department of State’s (DOS) BOA Program was created by the Superfund Law of 2003. Through the program, brownfields are transformed from liabilities to community assets that generate and support new businesses, jobs, and revenues for local economies, as well as provide new housing and public amenities.
The village of Ballston Spa intends to develop a BOA Nomination Plan for a 176-acre area encompassing a substantial portion of the downtown center along NYS Rt. 50, and two adjacent water bodies - the Gordon and Kayaderosseras Creeks. The village intends to prioritize four areas for redevelopment within the BOA to create transformative redevelopment of the central core of the village, increase access to waterfront property, and return underutilized properties to productive use.
The purpose of the funding request is to prepare a Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Study in compliance with the NYSDOS brownfield redevelopment program. Once the BOA Nomination Study is complete, the village will request BOA designation from the Secretary of State, which allows developers who are participating in the voluntary Brownfield Cleanup Program to receive a tax credit “bump-up” to redevelop the sites in a manner that is consistent with the community’s vision and Secretary-approved plan.
The grant of $153,000 requires a $17,000 match from the village and will allow the hire of a consultant. The study is expected to take approximately 14 months to complete.
21st Annual Artisan Market Returns to Ballston Spa Nov. 27
BALLSTON SPA — The “Artisan Market” at Brookside Museum will be returning in 2021, operating from “Small Business Saturday,” Nov. 27 through Dec. 24.
Like its predecessors, the 21st installment of the market will feature only handcrafted products created by local artisans.
Brookside Museum, headquarters of the Saratoga County History Center, is located at 6 Charlton St. The 2021 hours are as follows: Thursdays, noon – 5 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Face coverings are required. Hand sanitizer will be available. The Saratoga County History Center is dedicated to preserving local history, educating the public, and serving our diverse Saratoga County communities. All money raised by the Artisan Market will fund SCHC public programming and collection maintenance.
Holiday Window Decorating: Decking the Halls in Ballston Spa
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association (BSBPA) is once again encouraging all businesses in the village’s downtown area to deck the halls.
For the past few years, the BSBPA has recognized businesses whose window decorations and displays have enhanced the Village of Ballston Spa during the holiday season. Businesses with decorated windows whose lights are on the evening of Nov. 30 will be judged and the winners will be announced in time for the festivities on Dec. 3, including the Holiday Parade, village Christmas tree lighting and First Friday. Winners will be presented with specially designated "contest winner" signs to display in their businesses for the holiday season and photos of the windows will be featured on social media (Facebook, Instagram) and the website, ballston.org.
The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, established in 1983, is a non-profit organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a great place to live, work and visit. To learn more, visit www.ballston.org.
Village of Ballston Spa Releases Draft for Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan
BALLSTON SPA — The Draft Village of Ballston Spa Bicycle and Pedestrian Master has been released and will be presented at a virtual Public Meeting on Zoom on Nov. 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The purpose of the Plan is to enhance the Village Central Business District, surrounding area, and the NY Route 50 corridor by promoting economic development, improving safety, and creating a connected and integrated multi-modal transportation network for users of all ages and abilities. The Village of Ballston Spa is home to a diverse population including low-income individuals and other vulnerable populations such as seniors, homeless veterans, and disabled adults, many of whom don’t drive. The Plan identifies missing links in the pedestrian network, potentially unsafe crossings, and priority connections between key Village locations, including the Zim Smith Trail.
The Draft Plan reviews existing conditions and evaluates pedestrian and bicycle existing comfort levels and describes the public involvement process. To date, the planning process has included a 1-block pop-up demonstration bicycle lane and on-street parking project on Hyde Boulevard between Chapman Street and Grove Street, a survey, four Focus Group meetings, and a Public Open House conducted on June 30. In addition to feedback during the Open House, a Demonstration Project, and survey, there were 158 comments received through the project website through September 2021. The comments were primarily focused on the desire for sidewalk improvements and noted missing sidewalk connections in the Village, encouraged connections to the Zim Smith Trail, the need for traffic calming, and improved bus shelters.
The Draft Plan recommends solutions for pedestrian and bicycle treatments and intersections with safety concerns and describes potential projects and funding opportunities. Recommendations provide direction on priority locations and design treatments (striping, signage, repaving, and reconstruction projects). The Draft Plan also recommends creating an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan to address pedestrian connectivity concerns and will create a Village schedule for the installation of curb ramps, detectable warning surfaces, sidewalk installation or replacement, and accessible pedestrian push buttons, where needed. The Draft Plan will be used to seek funding for improvements from grants, state, and federal resources to implement the recommendations for design, engineering, and construction.
Information about the project and a copy of the Draft Plan can be found at projects.vhb.com/ballstonspapbmp/default.htm.
Ballston Spa Music Department Receives National Recognition
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
Ballston Spa is one of the 4% of public school districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2021. The district has received the recognition for five consecutive years, starting in 2017.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Ballston Spa answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, music education during the COVID pandemic, and about community music-making programs.
This award recognizes that Ballston Spa is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation designated music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education Award and the state level implementation of the federal ESSA law bring attention to the importance of keeping music education part of curriculum offerings and available to all students. It also highlights music’s vital role in students’ overall success in school and the personal benefits of making music.
The district annually celebrates Music in Our Schools month during March with several special events, including an annual Pops Concert for the school community and acknowledging students who have performed in state and regional honors groups at a Board of Education meeting. The district extends congratulations to all the students, staff, and families, involved in the Ballston Spa music community. Additional information about the music program in the Ballston Spa schools is available on the department’s webpage or call 518-884-7150.
Plans Approved for Nursing Home Closure; Residents to Be Relocated
BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga Center for Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care, a 257-bed facility formerly operated by the county as Maplewood Manor, is anticipated to close early in the new year.
The state Department of Health approved a plan submitted by the leadership of Saratoga Center for Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care to close, said DOH spokesman Jeffrey Hammond.
“According to the approved plan, all of the residents will be relocated to other long term care facilities as soon as possible. DOH will monitor the facility as closure activities commence to help minimize the impact of this closing on the community, and to make sure every resident is relocated to an appropriate level of care,” Hammond said, in a prepared statement.
After learning of the potential closure, Ballston Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker, dated Dec. 11, requesting the nursing home closure “be extended appropriately, in consideration of the current pandemic.”
Walsh called the deadline for closure, which is Feb. 15, 2021, a challenging one, even under the best of circumstances.
“With the pandemic, this type of major transition could be unsafe for residents or worse yet, deadly,” Walsh wrote. “Transferring these residents to facilities within the required 50-mile radius necessitates that they will be entering facilities with active COVID cases.”
The Saratoga facility has thus far reported no COVID-19 positive resident cases.
“Given the recent surge in cases in Saratoga and nearby counties, many facilities are not accepting new admissions. This may result in residents having to relocate far from home and far from family supports. I do not question the business judgment of the owners and operators of this facility to make the business decision to close. However, I remain very concerned about the health, safety and well-being of these vulnerable residents,” said Walsh, reporting that 87 residents will be required to relocate. “Allowing sufficient time for residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and for the holiday surge in cases to dissipate, would be a reasonable accommodation,” she added.
The Saratoga Center for Rehab & Skilled Nursing Care, is located at 149 Ballston Ave. According to the DOH, the center will continue operations until the last resident is “placed in the most appropriate level of care,” that a full range of appropriate services for all patients/residents must be provided throughout the entire closure process, and that the closure plan must include provisions for the maintenance, storage and safekeeping of patient/resident medical records.
August Return of Concerts, Movies in Ballston Spa
BALLSTON SPA – In accordance with New York State safety protocols, the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association will present a series of free summer events this month.
The Concerts in the Park Series will present concerts on Aug. 6 (Union Fire Company Band), Aug. 13 (The Lustre Kings), Aug. 20 (The Bluebillies) and Aug. 27 (Ballston Spa Community Band). Concerts will be held from 6-8 p.m. outside in Lions Music Park at the historic Iron Spring Park on Front Street.
The free outdoor Movies in the Park will screen the animated films “Abominable” on Aug. 7 and “Toy Story 4” on Sept. 4. Movies are shown in Wiswall Park on Front Street at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.). Rain dates are the following Saturday evening.
These events are contingent on public gathering restrictions currently in place. Social distancing measures, face masks and limited capacity in the parks for concert and movie spectators are required and will be followed. Event safety plans are posted on the concert and movie webpages on the BSBPA’s website, Ballston.org.
The Ballston Spa Farmers’ Market continues to be held Thursdays from 3-6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in Wiswall Park through the end of September. Vendors are properly spaced; masks are required for vendors and customers and social distancing is implemented.
Hand sanitizer will be available to the public at all events.
Ballston Spa Dining Goes Al fresco
BALLSTON SPA — The Village of Ballston Spa is offering the community a unique dining experience where customers can eat on the street.
Any restaurant located on Front Street can expand their outdoor dining area three nights a week during dining hours. The Village Board voted the new dining rules into effect this past month.
Street dining began June 18 and restaurants located between Low and Bath have expanded their tables to the street. The outdoor dining will be offered from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Larry Woolbright, village mayor, said business has been great for street dining.
“The restaurants have been participating in outdoor dining and they have been doing really good business. It’s been a popular thing. I’ve been down here a few evenings and they have all been doing brisk business. It’s great to see people walking around,” Woolbright said.
The effort is to boost business at local eateries including the Front Street Social Club, Henry’s Irish Tavern, Next Door Restaurant and Sunset Grill. Craig Favreau, manager at Front Street Delicatessen and Pizzeria, said he’s noticed a massive decrease in people dining out since restaurants were allowed to open at half occupancy. He did notice, however, that the community utilized the expanded outdoor seating when it was available.
“We don’t really sell much nowadays with people dining in. People are still eating in, but not like they used to. But they are utilizing the outdoor tables weather permitting,” Favreau said.
Woolbright added: “The restaurants on Front Street are pretty small spaces. When they were allowed to open up with appropriate social distancing, it’s questionable whether some of them will have enough tables to cover their expenses. We felt that in order to help them, we had to give them the opportunity to expand the location of their tables.”
Being closed or exclusively offering takeout has taken a toll on eateries across the world, but Favreau is happy to have the opportunity to expand. Front Street Deli currently allows half of the occupancy of the store. When Front Street is shut down, Favreau takes the unused tables and places them on the street.
“Right now, half of our tables inside are not in use. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we get the ones that we are not using inside and put them outside,” Favreau said. “I think having this makes people more inclined to dine out.”
The community of Saratoga Springs is hoping for a similar dining opportunity on Broadway. However, expanding outdoor seating won't be an option, as Broadway is also State Route 50 which is controlled by the state. Two weeks ago, the City Council approved a permit system that will allow the city’s restaurants to expand their outdoor dining. The permit will allow eateries to place their chairs and tables on sidewalks and streets.
Front Street Deli is located at 39 Front Street. They can be reached at thefsdeli.com or 518-884-0456.
“It’s been tough on these small outfits to be closed for so long,” Woolbright said. “Unless something changes with indoor dining, we reserved the right to change the system anytime that it appears that it needs to be changed. My guess is until the restaurants are allowed to open back up at their full capacity we’ll probably continue to do this.”
Ballston Spa School Budget and Board Vote Information
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District Board of Education recently approved a proposed budget of $93,258,635 for the 2020-2021 school year.
The adopted budget reflects a 1.3% budget-to-budget increase, and a 3.53% tax levy increase, with an estimated average of 1.2% tax rate increase across the district (actual tax rates are set in August). The approximate tax impact is a $52 increase for the average single family home assessed at $253,710.
Voters in the district are encouraged to learn more about the proposed school budget by reviewing the information on the website or in the district newsletter, which is mailed to all district residences. In addition, residents may call the district’s budget hotline with specific questions for the Assistant Superintendent for Business at 518-884-7195, ext. 1320. Questions and comments may also be sent via the comments section on the district website.
The annual statewide School Budget Vote and Board of Education Elections is being held by absentee ballot only. All registered voters will be receiving information on the process in the mail in early June. Ballots must be received in the mail, or in the ballot drop box, which will be placed at the entrance of the District Office at 70 Malta Avenue, by 5 p.m. on June 9, 2020.
There are two full term, three year, board seats up for election this year, commencing in July 2020. Interested voters will select from the following candidates: Matthew Dreher, Rebekah Deuel-Jones, Susan Filburn, Lillian McCarthy, Susan Moore, David Newell, and Katie Whittemore. Board of Education candidates have provided video statements that can be reviewed on the district website. Additional candidate information is also being posted by the Saratoga County League of Women Voters.
Please see the district newsletter for additional information, visit the budget pages of the district website at www.bscsd.org/Page/13104 or call 518-884-7195 ext. 1320 for additional information.
Ballston Spa's First Friday Features Seventh Annual Chocolate Festival
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association is proud to announce our 7th Annual Chocolate Fest, taking place on First Friday, February 7, from 6-9 pm. We are currently announcing sponsorship opportunities as well as a call for Chocolate Chef entries.
Area restaurants, bakeries, and chefs are all welcome to compete to showcase their talents and tastes by preparing small, sample sized chocolate offerings in up to 3 categories: Dessert (Sweet), Savory, and Chocolate Beverage. A panel of our First Friday Fanatics and visitors will judge these chocolate treats in the Fan Favorite competition. More information and applications to participate as a Chocolate Chef can be found atballston.org/category/first-fridays.
On First Friday, visitors can pick up a ballot form at any participating business and head to their favorite "Sweet Spot" shops, restaurants, and chefs to sample a $1 chocolate taste. While savoring these chocolate treats, visitors will enjoy a variety of First Friday activities going on throughout the Village, including art gallery openings, live music, artist demonstrations, and special promotions and sales just in time for Valentine's Day. A complete listing of all events can be found at Ballston.org.
Last year featured over 20 “Sweet Spots” throughout our downtown area. We were proud to welcome over 1,500 visitors to the Village for this annual event.
Sponsorships from regional and local businesses and community members help make this event possible. For more information on advertising opportunities and how you or your business can support our 2020 Chocolate Fest, please visit: ballston.org/product/2020-chocolate-fest-sponsorship.
The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, established in 1983, is a non-profit organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a better place to live and work, and to bringing quality arts and entertainment events for all ages to the community. More information can be found at www.ballston.org