Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS — In January, Robin Dalton took office as city Public Safety Commissioner – the first woman to hold the position which oversees, among other things, the overall operation of the police and fire departments.
She grew up in Manhattan “in a really loving, happy home, and attended classes at the Chapin School, an all-girls school on the Upper East Side that lists among its alumnae Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Vera Wang, and N.Y. Mets owner Joan Whitney Payson. “Ivanka Trump was two grades below me,” Dalton says. Shortly after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Cornell University, in 2007 Dalton relocated to Saratoga Springs where she lives with her husband and their four children.
FROM LOCAL RESIDENT TO CITY GOVERNMENT
In 2012, Dalton began digging into city politics and observing council meetings. “To me it was very important to have experience in Saratoga and get involved in the community in a way to really understand the spirit of the city so I can represent the people who live here to the best of my potential. So, I really waited until I was ready to take this on because I knew it would be challenging.
“One of the best things about it was I perceived partisanship as not being a factor in how the City Council was voting. It didn’t seem people were making politically based decisions. The decisions were being made as for what’s best for the city. And I think that’s also been my happiest revelation over these past seven months. I don’t think there’s been a single moment where anyone has invoked my party to persuade me to vote one way or another. It’s a non-issue,” Dalton says. “Partisanship doesn’t have any role in how the City Council votes. And to me that’s a really good thing. That’s been really awesome.” Seven months on the job, Dalton sat down this week to talk about the status of several pressing city issues in this most unusual year.
When the city declared a State of Emergency in March, the city’s Emergency Management Plan directed the public safety commissioner lead a team to address the emergency. “That was a moment when our form of government was at its best,” Dalton says. The city’s Commission form of governing – which charges each commissioner with different responsibilities, yet equal political power was born specifically from emergency when it was implemented in Texas, in 1901 as a reaction to the Galveston hurricane.
“I was also fortunate to have a City Council that was supportive of how I was sourcing and disseminating information, which was taking it from our governor. It was disappointing to me we didn’t have a leader of our country who led by example – handling it with science and data rather than partisanship, so I was going to stick to the guidelines laid out by Governor Cuomo. I would say I love what he’s doing right now. Will I love what he’s doing six months from now? A year from now? Probably not, but that’s not going to prevent me from saying he’s done a great job handling the virus.”
A member of the Republican Party, she is unafraid to step outside any pre-conceived limitations regarding party and is something she says she was upfront about when first interviewing with the city GOP Committee. “I went through a list of things I knew they weren’t necessarily going to be happy about: I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-immigrant – but I wanted to be clear upfront about what I stand for.”
POLITICIZING A VIRUS
“Unfortunately, everything has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not about your health necessarily, it’s about what you stand for, what party you’re with. I think that’s really sad and destructive. It’s been divisive but at the end of the day all I care about is that the city is as healthy as possible and simultaneously that our economy is strong. There is an incredible importance in both and we’re not here to put one above the other.”
“We have models we look at and we’re working very closely with the hospital. We are expecting positive cases to go up because kids are coming back to school. We need to predict these things. I don’t think it’s going to take us back to where we were at our peak, which was about 10% positive cases. Right now, we’ve dropped to under 1% which is fantastic. There’s a huge mental health component and our children have suffered immensely. We’re trying to give kids a little bit of normalcy.”
ADDRESSING THE NEED FOR A FIRE/EMS STATION TO SERVE RESIDENTS OF THE EAST SIDE
“We have done a site plan and needs analysis of the Henning Road location and put out an RFP for a design firm. We had planned on moving on this aggressively, but when the pandemic hit everything got paused.” The question now is how best to move forward in a tough economic climate. To that end, the city is exploring state aid and grant possibilities to assist moving forward. “I think this is a smart way to handle it that doesn’t put us in a situation of it being a financial liability. But we’re setting ourselves up such that we can use money from the state to complete the project and deliver for our east side residents their emergency medical needs while also not putting the city in a precarious financial position.”
HOMELESSNESS AND THE NEED FOR A PERMANENT CODE BLUE EMERGENCY SHELTER
“With this pandemic and this ensuing financial collapse, we’re going to be seeing a lot of people who are in distress in terms of keeping a roof over their head. And (homelessness) is not a one-size-fits-all problem. There are some people who are drug-addicted, people who have mental issues, people who have no interest in finding or seeking shelter and have established a lifestyle outside, downtown. That works for them, but it’s not something that as a city the residents want to tolerate. If you go over to the Woodlawn parking lot you can see it almost every day; it’s almost an encampment and really a struggle for the neighbors there. So, we’re addressing that – but homelessness is not something that can be solved by law enforcement. It can be solved by having community partners working together in the spirit that the Saratoga Collaborative to End Homelessness is working in. You need the county on board, you need all the social services to be on board and everyone needs to come at this issue wanting to get rid of all the roadblocks and challenges that are in place, to get people into housing and work through them in difficult and sometimes scary ways. Without that, I don’t know that there is a fix for this issue.”
“We also have this enormous need for a year-round shelter, and we don’t have that place right now. We’re just pushing people from one area of the city to the other, going around and around and it’s an enormous waste of time, energy, resources and ultimately isn’t helping the people who we want to help. So, It’s incredibly frustrating and incredibly challenging. That’s really a critical part of this problem. We have to have this permanent, year-round facility, and then it comes down to whose responsibility is it to financially provide this. I am very committed to solving this problem, but I also know the roadblocks and challenges ahead of us are significant.
RALLIES AND PROTESTS AND ISSUES OF RACE
“Emotions have been running extremely high – not just about race but of all these contributing factors, all over America. I can’t recall a time when people have been this traumatized and have had such heightened emotions and reactions.
“For any kind of significant change to happen it needs to happen as a community, not just as law enforcement. This is a Saratoga Springs conversation. We all need to be addressing how the experience of being white in Saratoga is very different than being black in Saratoga. (Our officers) have reached out to Black Lives Matter protesters locally, taking a knee with protestors, walking arm-in-arm with them. They’ve exercised incredible professionalism and the only thing they want is for people to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and the right to gather and protest and to be able to do that in one piece. The absolutely last thing I wanted was for anyone to be arrested and any kind of violence to break out.
“I will be very candid and say I don’t think having a Back The Blue rally was an appropriate choice at this time. I thought it was a bit tone-deaf and likely to make the challenges of addressing Black Lives Matter and racism and bias larger and make people louder and angrier and divide people more than it would bring people together. I’m looking at this in a bigger picture context. Because of this moment of time that we’re in, I really do feel we need to be focusing on how being black in Saratoga is extremely different than being white in Saratoga, and that’s not something people are necessarily ready to acknowledge, to work toward something better.
“I believe in my department, I believe in our professionalism. I also understand the families who have someone working in law enforcement wanting to show their support for what these officers have been doing, but unfortunately in the national context that immediately gets misconstrued or associated with racism or fascism or all sorts of political extremism. I know locally that wasn’t the intention at all, but it all led up to this horrible, stressful, awful moment where these two groups of people are screaming at each other, (figuratively) ripping each other apart, and it was so sad to watch because there’s no reason why one group should be pitted against another group. I think we all want a lot of the same things. To see how both groups expressed how emotional and angry they were was just a sad state of affairs.
“Believe in law enforcement. Believe that black lives matter. I think it’s perfectly normal to have both those things live in the same person. But what I’m seeing is people thinking you can’t be both these things, and that’s disturbing and sad. I think we’ll get through it, but we have a lot of healing and work to do.
IN 12 MONTHS TIME
“I hope we return to some sense of normalcy in terms of our behavior and how we interact with one another. I’m hoping that our health is good and that our economy is recovered. Life as we knew it. But, with this new and real threat of a Pandemic it’s going to be a challenge. We still don’t know everything we need to know about it. We still don’t have a vaccine. There are all these variables that need to be answered before we can say with confidence that we’re good, we’re safe.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Beatles and The Stones. Elvis to Metallica. Kiss to Dolly Parton, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Alice Cooper to The Who. There’s something for most everyone to see and interactively experience at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition, which opened this week at Universal Preservation Hall. The show runs through late September.
Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball beginning Sunday, July 26 for a two-month run. The interactive exhibit showcases rock-themed, playable pinball machines and combines them with merchandise and artifacts to explore the artistic portrayal of artists and bands.
On display are 16 playable rock ‘n’ roll themed pinball machines in all, in addition to an assortment of music artifacts on display hailing from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll.
A “Tommy” pinball machine – owing a nod to the Who and the group’s opus Tommy is here, as is group guitarist Pete Townshend’s acoustic guitar – which he used to compose “Pinball Wizard” and several other songs for the ’Tommy,’ album, and which fortunately he did not smash.
Making its debut as part of the exhibit is Alice Cooper’s new pinball machine – “Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle,” a horror adventure game narrated by Cooper himself and featuring songs spanning Cooper’s career. The pinball machine is joined by the exhibit of the Alice Cooper group’s original electric chair show prop, upon which the band’s singer sat and performed on stages across the world in 1971.
Additional items on display include Peter Criss of KISS’ drum set, Dolly Parton’s dress, memorabilia connected to the early days of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, as well as a metallic ode tracing their legend to Metallica and Judas Priest.
As for the pinball machines, which are playable, they deliver the bings, bongs, and dual flipper action polyrhythms associated with the likes of Elton John, KISS, AC/DC and others.
UPH, a partner in the Proctors Collaborative, will sell tickets for 90-minute blocks throughout the run. Tickets will be available for admittance at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day and hours will be extended to include 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. admittance on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The event concludes on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available now at universalpreservationhall.org.
“Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball,” is presented at UPH by Adirondack Trust Company.
UPH will follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State safety guidelines in establishing safety protocol for exhibit visitors. Each visitor, staff person and volunteer will be required to bring and wear a face mask and to wear provided gloves while playing the pinball machines. All individuals will also be required to maintaining proper social distancing. UPH staff will also take and record each individual’s temperature and procure proper tracing information, and sanitize all surfaces including handrails, light switches, elevators, exhibit pieces, restrooms and common surfaces before new groups are admitted. Capacity will be initially limited to 20 guests per time slot and will re-evaluated regularly.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Mike Dubb and his Beechwood Organization spent 35 years building 7,500 downstate homes.
For the first time in his career, Dubb is starting to build homes in Saratoga Springs, less than three miles from Saratoga Race Course, the thoroughbred racetrack he has been visiting since he was 17-years-old.
Dubb and Beechwood outlined details of the 53 homes they are building at the Oak Ridge development between the track and Saratoga Lake. Homes will range in size between 2,200 square feet and more than 6,000 square feet. They will be priced in the $850,000 to $2 million-plus range.
Now, Dubb is looking at other properties around the city for future projects.
He is convinced the Covid-19 pandemic will only increase the number of downstate New York and New Jersey residents who are interested in moving to or building a second home in Saratoga.
“I know people prior to Covid who were saying, ‘I want a better life or I want a town and something not so dense as New York City and the surrounding suburbs,’” Dubb said. “Home has taken on a new importance with people because of Covid.”
The founder of Beechwood Organization secured the remaining 53 lots at Oak Ridge from Jeffrey Snyder and Oak Ridge Development in April after looking at the 135-plus acre site on a whim in October.
“I really wasn’t looking to develop in Saratoga,” Dubb said.
The pastoral setting off Meadowbrook and Dyer Switch roads and the ability to construct four-, five- and six-bedroom homes with large porches, high-end finishes and garages tucked behind the houses caught his attention. Dubb sees the Oak Ridge by Beechwood project as a way to recreate what he describes as the “old Saratoga” architecture that exists along North Broadway and Union Avenue.
He expects the 53 homes will sell over the next three to four years, and he is not worried that the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown will jeopardize the project.
“Covid and the economic effects cannot take away the beauty and desirability of Saratoga,” Dubb said. “We may lose some restaurants and hotels. A few individuals may struggle. Long term, Saratoga is too strong ... One or two economic rough years does not a town make.”
Dubb, 64, started visiting Saratoga Springs as a teenager and became heavily involved in thoroughbred racing over the years. He is a seven-time leading owner at Saratoga Race Course and serves on the board of the New York Racing Association, the nonprofit that manages the track.
Dubb and Beechwood also are currently building a daycare center in Saratoga Springs that will be donated for use by children of the backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course. They constructed and donated a similar facility at the Belmont Park thoroughbred track nearly 20 years ago.
Dubb, who has owned a home in Saratoga Springs for 10 years, remains bullish in the track and Saratoga Springs despite the fact that the pandemic is preventing Saratoga Race Course to operate without fans for the first time this year.
Two months before Dr. Timothy Brooks was set to retire as medical director, chair and chief of emergency medicine at Saratoga Hospital, COVID-19 struck New York City. “We saw what was happening—and that it could happen here,” Dr. Brooks said. “I couldn’t in good faith walk away.”
Instead, he stayed for what would become some of the most challenging months of his more-than-30-year career. As he’d done so many times since coming here in 1987, Dr. Brooks helped lead the hospital and community response.
Now, with COVID-19 numbers down throughout the region and systems in place to identify, treat and protect patients and staff, Dr. Brooks can move ahead with his plans. He retires July 31 with the respect, admiration and gratitude of patients, medical and emergency response professionals, organizations and officials throughout the region.
Those who know Dr. Brooks weren’t surprised that he put the community first.
“In many ways, Dr. Brooks is a rock that we built the hospital on,” said Dr. Richard Falivena, vice president and chief medical and physician integration officer at Saratoga Hospital. “He has been instrumental in helping us launch almost every clinical program we offer. We can’t overstate his impact.”
Making a difference for millions If you’ve received emergency medical care, been an inpatient at Saratoga Hospital, or visited one of its urgent care centers, Dr. Brooks has made a difference in your care. He’s also informed public health policy and
decisions in Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County, and he’s been instrumental in bringing people together to improve emergency preparedness.
“After 9/11 we realized we had to change our approach,” Dr. Brooks recalled. “We formed a countywide committee and developed plans for managing mass-casualty situations, including biological warfare and pandemics. We’ve been meeting quarterly ever since.”
The committee, which Dr. Brooks chaired from its inception until his retirement, included dozens of health and safety officials. It also caught the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which asked Dr. Brooks to serve as a consultant on educating physicians on bioterrorism.
“He is so respected, within and outside the hospital,” said Ann Marie Cross, MS, RN, administrative director for emergency and urgent care services at Saratoga Hospital. “People know who he is, what he’s done, and how much he cares about everyone.”
Ms. Cross and Dr. Brooks were “a tag team” for 11 years. She attributes his impact to a combination of exceptional clinical skills and bedside manner, a genuine love of teaching and mentoring, and a fundamental belief in collaboration.
“He knew that what we did in the Emergency Department would affect other providers and departments, so he always involved them in the decision-making,” Ms. Cross said.
“He set the stage for so much of what we do,” she added. “He was constantly striving to improve care, and that affected the way we develop protocols, learn from every experience, and collaborate to do what’s best for our patients.
“That’s not going to change,” Ms. Cross said. “It will be his legacy.
BALLSTON SPA – With a sense of resignation at the inevitability of no mass gatherings during pandemic of COVID-19, the organizers of this fun, family festival have reluctantly cancelled this years event.
Initially scheduled for June 19 to 21 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds, the event was pushed to August 14 to 16, hoping for a break from the onslaught from the coronavirus. However, there was no such luck.
While the promoters regret the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, they are optimistic about hosting the event in 2021 at the Fairgrounds. They hope for a vaccine to pave the way back to a semblance of normalcy by next spring.
According to Todd Monahan, the balloon meister, “we already have 30 balloons lined up for 2021. They are all psyched to come to Saratoga to fly here again.”
To keep informed about the Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival, check on the website www.balloonandbbq.com.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Local antiques specialist and auctioneer Mark Lawson secured an exceptional result in the sale of an antique Chinese bronze censer for his long-time client Jim Kambrich, the recently retired
anchor for WNYT Channel 13 News.
The bronze censer had come down through Kambrich’s family from his grandparents and was among the items Jim and his wife Susan sold through Mark Lawson Antiques in an effort to downsize and move after Jim’s retirement.
The censer was about 11 inches tall and took the form of a “foo dog,” the mythical Chinese guardian lion that typically stands in front of Imperial palaces. An initial sale price for this piece was $300 to $500. When the gavel finally fell, the sale price was $20,000. Remarkably, this kind of thing happens regularly with the sale of good quality Chinese antiques to a new and growing population of native Chinese collectors.
Mark Lawson Antiques is currently cataloguing its next sale, a live auction with online-only bidding scheduled for Aug. 1, 2020. Live previews will be held on July 30 and 31. Please see marklawsonantiques.com for details.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Syracuse District, and SCORE present an update webinar on SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and New York State’s Women-Owned Enterprise (WBE) certification programs.
The free online event will take place 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship for more than 50 years.
The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting certification process is changing, and the new certification will be required as of Oct. 15. Applications can be submitted using the new process starting in July. Becoming certified for the WOSB program means your business is eligible to compete for WOSB Federal Contracting Program set-aside contracts.
The webinar will feature Stephen Barr - Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA Syracuse District Office, and Kayla Perry - Program Manager, North Country Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).
Register for the webinar at: score.zoom.us/webinar/registerWN_5f5sKYCpQQWZYGQe68fqw
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
The historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park. Photos provided.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand reopening of the historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park.
First opened in 1935 by former New York governor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the iconic Georgian Revival-style bathhouse has been closed since falling into disuse in the 1980s. The bathhouse's reopening is part of a $2.3 million transformational project that is restoring and improving upon the grandeur of the Roosevelt Baths.
"The Roosevelt II Bathhouse is a living piece of New York history that once provided a natural luxury experience to everyday New Yorkers, and by breathing new life into the facility, visitors will once again find themselves enjoying the peace and beauty of Saratoga's natural springs," Cuomo said. "New York's parks are a national treasure and we will continue our hard work across the state to not only maintain them, but make them better than ever and true must-see destinations."
Under the NY Parks 2020 initiative, the bathhouse's historic lobby has been restored, new restrooms installed, new heating, ventilation and plumbing systems added, toxic asbestos removed, and programming space added for a planned artistic and wellness center.
Future plans include use of a portion of the 18,000 sq-ft facility by the not-for-profit group COESA. They will use 2,700 square feet to offer retreat experiences and classes in personal well-being, leadership, meditation, professional wellness training, and work-life balance. The facility will open once state regulations aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19 allow.
"This bathhouse will be returning to its original purpose - the enjoyment, well-being and relaxation of those who visit," State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "I commend Governor Cuomo for bringing this historic facility back to life."
The new coffee shop will be operated by Saratoga County-based Wired Coffee, which currently operates cafes in Malta and the city of Albany.
The COESA facility is across from the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, and is part of the Roosevelt Campus, which includes Parks administrative offices and the Spa Little Theater, as well as two mirror-image mineral water public bathing facilities, and the Hall of Springs.
After the baths were dedicated by President Roosevelt, who was a proponent of curative mineral baths, the facility offered baths until early 1943, when it was converted into a military hospital for disabled veterans. After construction of the Veterans Administration hospital in Albany, the facility was used by State Parks as office space, a restoration shop and storage until the building was closed in the late 1980s.
There is 12,000 feet remaining in the renovated bathhouse to be redeveloped in the future. In 2019, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center received $2 million in Regional Economic Development Council funding to offer substantial new opportunities for public use of the space.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — As the city begins to move toward budget season – a 2021 budget must be approved by the end of November – the estimated revenues that will factor into that budget are anticipated at nearly $8 million less than was budgeted for 2020.
“Even with the phased reopening, our city cannot expect revenues to rise to former levels immediately upon the reopening of our downtown,” city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan told the council this week.
“It is generally held that it will be months, if not years before the new economy establishes itself well. In addition social, behavioral and consumer changes due to closed businesses, wide-spread unemployment and other results of COVID-19 will continue to affect revenue collection well into the future.”
Madigan estimated that revenue collection - without any additional state or federal aid - at approximately $7.8 million less than the amount estimated for the pre-COVID world of 2020. As such, the 2021 general operating budget revenue is anticipated to be $40.9 million, down from the current year’s $48.7 million adopted budget.
Madigan reported the following year-to-date comparisons:
Sales Tax: year-to-date collection 19% lower than last year. More specifically - May 2020 is 37% less than May 2019.
Occupancy Tax: year-to-date collection is 54% lower than last year at this time. Specifically, 2nd quarter collection is 78% less than 2nd quarter collections in 2019.
Mortgage Tax: 0.24% lower than 2019, year-to-date.
Some Good News: The state released 80% - or $1.86 million - of annual VLT aid amount to the city.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
City officials said this week that a newly amended state law will provide greater clarity in enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols. The amended law comes in the wake of some businesses and municipalities alike requesting stronger language than what had previously been issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an Executed Order.
“The New York State Department of Health (on July 9) amended the Public Health Law, specifically Section 66, which codifies statutorily the requirements that Gov. Cuomo had implemented in the executive order and also imposed the ability for civil penalties associated with that, establishing authority for state and local municipalities to enforce those provisions,” City Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis said Tuesday.
“So it’s something we’re looking at to address that’s not necessarily punitive or restrictive, but lets people know that health is a priority for Saratoga Springs, that you can come here and feel comfortable,” said Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton.
“We’ve been looking for ways to encourage and enforce people wearing face masks in and around Saratoga Springs. It continues to be a problem, and the problem has grown. We keep hearing from people who are uncomfortable to leave their homes, or uncomfortable to visit here because they’re afraid they’re not going to be safe and healthy if they visit our downtown,” she said, adding that the biggest problem is weekend nights on Caroline Street, where large crowds gather along the sidewalks outside late-night establishments.
‘It’s not really the bars and restaurants, they’re doing a great job, it’s the people who are coming downtown and wandering in big packs on the sidewalks (and) no one’s wearing a mask. So that to me is the more urgent situation for us to be able to address the safety issue through this public health amendment.” Dalton said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “We’re not going to be scouring Broadway in the middle of the day, seeking out people who aren’t wearing masks.”
DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco argued that the police had better things to do than to enforce people wearing masks. Commissioner Dalton responded to say there already exists a police presence along Caroline Street, and actions there wouldn’t take away from any other safety issues in the city.
Commissioner Madigan added that there is no reason why police wouldn’t want to ask large crowds who had gathered to disperse or to don masks, and that pedestrians exhibiting safety measures also provide a positive display for local economic reasons in assuring people it is safe to visit and shop downtown.
The amended Public Health Law – which may be read in its entirety on the NYS website under New York Codes, Rules and Regulations heading - contains some exemptions, and reads, in part: Any person who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.
SARATOGA COUNTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH RESIGNS
Saratoga County Director of Public Health Catherine Duncan announced this week that she will retire, effective July 31. As such, the agency is currently actively seeking to fill the position of Commissioner Of Health.
The appointment to the position is for a term of six years at a salary of $132,446 plus benefits. Job responsibilities include to direct, manage and regulate the Department’s delivery of public health services throughout Saratoga County. Requirements include: being a physician currently registered to practice medicine in New York State and possessing two years of experience in administrative practice in a health-related organization or government agency. For more information about the position, call 518-885-2225, or go to: www.saratogacountyny.gov.
HEALTH & WELLNESS PROPRIETORS UTILIZE CITY PARKS
The City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday, and Commissioner of Public Works Anthony “Skip” Scirocco announced Wednesday that Saratoga Springs based gyms, fitness trainers, and yoga studios are able to utilize Congress Park, High Rock Park, Geyser Road Veterans Memorial Park, and the Waterfront Park to host workout sessions without paying rental fees through Sept. 7.
Health and wellness proprietors can host classes at the specified parks by filling out a rental use agreement.
Regulations: No permanent equipment can be installed and a strict carry-in, carry-out procedure must be followed. Safety guidelines set forth by the CDC must be adhered to including mask wearing and social distancing. No loud speakers, loud music, or other activity interfering with others’ enjoyment of the park will be authorized. Providers must submit an anticipated schedule and location to inform the city of routine dates and times of usage, and DPW will resolve any conflicts between providers and/or other renters of the parks; location preference will be given to paid renters. A Certificate of Insurance must also be furnished.
COVID-19 Testing Sites and Antibody Testing Sites for Saratoga County change frequently and are updated at the Saratoga County website. Currently, sites include: Saratoga Hospital and Wilton Medical Arts – where COVID-19 and Antibody testing are available to Saratoga County residents of all ages with a provider order; Malta Med Emergent Care - Provider order required, and Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Primary Care in Ballston Spa - Antibody testing only – available with provider order. Appointment information, criteria for testing, and a regularly updated list of testing sites is available at: www.saratogacountyny.gov.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — City Hall, which has been closed and under renovation since sustaining substantial water damage in the wake of an August 2018 lightning strike, is showing signs of reopening this month. The interior offices, courthouse(s) and music hall – which stands on the building’s upper floor – have all undergone extensive construction.