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Displaying items by tag: Ballston Lake

Thursday, 05 March 2020 13:24

Sewer Project Backed-Up

BALLSTON — After beginning the Ballston Lake Sewer Project in 2015, Town of Ballston officials hope to start the $17 million construction of the system this spring.

However, attaining a $5 million grant has halted the project until further notice. 

The town received notice about being awarded a $5 million Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant for the Ballston Lake Sewer project the week of Dec. 16, 2019. On Jan. 3, 2020 the board received a letter from the Director of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) stating the Office of the State Comptroller (OFC) would review the DEC’s paperwork. Once approved through OFC, the DEC would provide additional information to the Town of Ballston to create the contract. 

“We knew in December that we got the grant. The biggest concern we have is the construction season. Our contractors who have bid have all said they will hold the price until May,” Wes DeVoe, sewer committee member.

After the $5 million grant has been awarded, the board plans to have a $1.8 million contingency. According to the last meeting minutes, Ballston Town Supervisor, Eric Connolly said given the stage of the project that he is comfortable with that contingency.

Project funding was awarded as follows: $2.55 million grant Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA), $5 million grant WQIP, $7.65 million loan, $2.55 million loan from NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation Additional Funding. Total combined funding to total $17,754,661.

The project construction was approved in October 2015. A resolution was passed in October 2018 that capped what the town could pay at $12.8 million. Originally estimated at $12.5 million, bids for the project first came in at a cost millions higher than anticipated. 

“We chopped it into five pieces and we sent out bids to five companies. Some parts are small and others not so we broke it down that way. So we did get more bids,” DeVoe said. 

DeVoe said the initial bid on the project was around $10 million. The total bids the town has now totals $17 million but the additional $7 million added to the project is from NYS.

“So the dollar that the people voted on does not change or go up. Homeowners around the lake, also known as the sewage district, can expect about $900 in increased taxes,” DeVoe said.

During the February meeting, Drew Hamelink, chairman of the Sewer Committee, said they have received written price locks with the three largest contractors, locking up roughly 93 percent of the project costs through May 1. The remaining contractor gave a lock until Feb 1, which has since been extended by six-weeks.

In 2015 the sewer committee and town board selected Adirondack Mountain Engineering PC to operate as the project-engineering contractor. President of the company, Ed Hernandez did not attend the meeting.

Ballston Lake was added to NYS Priority Water Bodies List in 2012 as an impaired water body. The list defines a water body that cannot support uses. 

As part of the solution to mitigate the impacts to the lake, town officials proposed a goal to construct a sewer collection system for any equivalent dwelling units (EDU) adjacent to the lake including Main Street and Buell Heights. 

EDU are defined as one single-family residential household. There are 700 parcels in total, with a number of the properties adjacent to the lake on the east side lying within the town of Clifton Park. 560 EDU in Ballston and 91 EDU in Clifton Park. 

The Town of Ballston adopted a Sewer Use Law through which all properties located within a set distance of the completed sewer main will be required to connect to the system. DeVoe said any EDU in Clifton Park would not be required to hook into the system but the two towns have been working together. In fact, there are two representatives from the Town of Clifton Park on the Sewer Committee board as well as residents in the sewage district and Ballston Town members.

Each EDU would be responsible for installing a grinder system that could cost the homeowner up to $5,000 for installation. 

“The current cost of the Saratoga County standard is $5,300 list price,” Hamelink said.

However, a sliding scale discount can be put in place that allows a 30 percent discount in the first year that slides back each year by five percent.

The proposed 2015 sewer district included parcels around the lake on the east side from East Side Drive and Schauber Road to Lake Road extending to Eastline Road. On the west side of the lake, it included Westside Drive from Mill Road and Main Street, Glenridge Road, Whites Beach Road, Powers Lane and Outlet Road to a connection point on Lake Road. Also included is Buell Heights neighborhood.

Properties along the lake would utilize a low-pressure force main and would require each service connection to be equipped with the grinder pump station. 

Sewers in the Buell Heights residential subdivision and along Main Street are anticipated to be conventional gravity-type. Wastewater collected in these areas would flow by gravity to a new pump station located on or near Main Street in proximity to the stream. 

Published in News
Friday, 19 May 2017 10:16

School Budgets Pass Across the Board

SARATOGA COUNTY – Voters across New York State took to the polls at their local schools to vote on proposed budgets, board of education elections, and the odd proposition. Across the board in Saratoga County, budgets were passed and propositions were approved. Here are some of things that area voters decided to approve:

Saratoga Springs City School District:
-$122,712,342 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV: Passed
-Establishment of Capital Reserves Fund to ““finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations”: Passed

Ballston Spa Central School District:
-$90,340,742 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of buses and vehicles, $907,000: Passed
-Public library funding, $55,650: Passed
-Creation of Ballston Area Recreation Commission, $30,000: Passed

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District:
-$64,492,019 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Creation of student-held school board position: Authorized

Schuylerville Central School District:
-$34,849,537 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Bus leasing proposition: Passed
-Schuylerville Public Library funding: Passed

South Glens Falls Central School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -$57,842,074 2017-18 budget: Passed -Purchase of five buses, one with wheelchair option, and one vehicle: Passed

Galway Central School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -$21,058,918 2017-18 budget: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Proposition to purchase four school buses: Passed

Mechanicville City School District:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -$25,480,499 2017-18 budget: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                                              -Proposition to purchase school bus: Passed                                                                                                                                                                                               -Sale of 0.44 acres of land on Elizabeth St. to Saratoga County for $1,000 for expansion of the Zim Smith trail: Approved 


Published in Education

SARATOGA COUNTY – On May 16, residents across New York State will be able to vote on the proposed budget for their local school districts. In the interest of helping potential voters in the Saratoga County area make an informed decision, we have gathered together information about what will be on the ballots for a number of major local school districts.

Saratoga Springs City School District residents will be voting on four major things: the 2017-18 budget, the Board of Education election, and two propositions. This year’s proposed budget amounts to $122,712,342, which calls for a 3.64-percent spending increase over last year. According to the district’s website, this proposed budget was designed to “preserve the outstanding quality of education for students within the district.” On the Board of Education election ballot are three candidates running for three-year terms: Anjeanette Emeka, who works in academic affairs at SUNY Empire State College, Jennifer Leidig, President and CEO of Ambiance Commerical Systems and Vice President of Ambiance, and Dr. Stephan Verral, a Board Certified Dermatologist in private practice at Gateway Dermatology in Glens Falls and Malta.

Proposition Two will authorize the district to spend $1,075,000 on six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV. Proposition Three will authorize the creation of a “Capital Reserve Fund” to, according to the district website, “finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations.” The fund would pull from existing funds and would not result in a tax increase.

Ballston Spa Central School District residents will be voting on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill three Board of Education seats, and on additional propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $90,340,742, and represents a 2.1-percent spending increase, which would result in a 0.6-percent tax increase across the district. On the Board of Education ballot, voters will chose between candidates Michael O’Donnell, Katie Thimineur, Lillian McCarthy, and Jeanne Obermayer to fill three seats. Propositions on the ballot this year include a “School Vehicle Replacement Proposition” that allows the district to spend up to $907,000 to purchase and replace buses and vehicles, permission to collect $55,650 for public library funding, and $30,000 for the Ballston Area Recreation Commission.

Schuylerville Central School District residents will vote on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill two Board of Education seats, and on a few propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $34,849,537, representing a spending increase of 2.1-percent. The district’s website claims that this budget will allow for the continuation of programs and services for students, and for the continued “investment in literacy and technology with the continuation of a literacy coach and technology integration specialist.” On the Board of Education ballot, voters will choose from Stanley Barber, Michael Bodnar, and Veronica Wood to fill two seats. Additional propositions will include a proposition for bus leasing and another for the Schuylerville Public Library budget.

Finally, voters in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District will vote on a 2017-18 budget, on three Board of Education candidates, and on an additional proposition. This year’s proposed budget is $64,492,019, which will represent a 2.48-percent spending increase. The Board of Education ballot will include candidates Peter Sawyer, John Blowers, and Don Marshall. Proposition Two would authorize the district to create a new Board of Education position to be held by a student from the high school.

The state-wide school budget vote will take place on May 16, from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit your district’s website to find out where your polling place will be this year.

Published in Education
Thursday, 27 April 2017 14:27

Saratoga Girls Lacrosse Continues to Dominate

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A strong season is continuing apace for the dominant Saratoga Springs High School varsity girls lacrosse team.

In a league game against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on their home turf on April 22, the Blue Streaks dominated the visiting team from start to finish, ending the game with a strong 16-6 victory. The team made good on their intentions to dominate the game from the beginning, putting up the first point of the game, and by halftime, they had massive 10-1 lead. This win puts the team 5-0 in league games, with their only loss coming at the hands and sticks of Niskayuna in a non-league game. Coming up soon will be big games against formidable teams, including Shenendahowa, Shaker, and Bethlehem.

“We have really excellent momentum,” Coach Elaine Lotruglio said. “We’ve had one loss, and it was close. I think we’re in a real good place [going forward].”

Lotruglio was impressed by the rhythm of the game, noting that the younger team was really coming into its own. Compared to previous years’ teams, this team skews much more towards the lower grade levels, with five freshmen and four sophomore players. Lotruglio guesses that by the time these young players make it to their senior year, their familiarity with one another will make them a force to contend with.

“They love to be together,” Lotruglio said about the team’s chemistry. “They pass well, and they’re learning each other’s moves, so to speak.”

A strong practice routine is also helping the team put up impressive numbers, in particular their warm-ups developed by the players themselves alongside assistant coach Elise Britt, a personal trainer and Maple Avenue Middle School health teacher. Lotruglio also noted how the team pulls certain shortcomings from each game they play so that they can work towards fixing them in future practice sessions.

Alongside the younger players, this season’s team has four senior players, Olivia Oskin, Cameron Parry, Emily Fischer, and Francesca Mangino, the latter three of which have signed their letters of intent to play inter-collegiate lacrosse in the fall. Lotruglio also highlighted the skills of sophomore Lindsey Frank, junior Ellen Payer, and junior Katie Wendell.

“They all just have a lot of fun together,” Lotruglio said.

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Sports
Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:53

No Ordinary “Joe”

50th G.I. Joe Birthday Commemorated at Military Museum

SARATOGA SPRINGS – “A boy’ll never play with a doll but he will play with a soldier.” 

- Don Levine, creator, G.I. Joe


Beginning with the release of the original iconic 11½ inch action figures in 1964 by Hasbro representing the Army, Navy and Marines (and shortly after - the “Action Nurse”) G.I. Joe has captivated a large segment of the toy loving public for it’s realism (with its 21 moving parts), inspiration to children’s imagination and for stimulating, at least through most of it’s existence – patriotism. 


The New York State Military Museum (61 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs) is holding a birthday party of sorts for G.I Joe, and the public is invited on the afternoon of Saturday, February 8. 


Tearle Ashby, a local G.I. Joe collector, will speak about the history of the G.I. Joe at 1 p.m. Mr. Ashby has a collection of more than 2,500 of the military action figures, some of which are currently on display at the museum in their ‘Toys and Tanks’ exhibit.

Among the items on display in this exhibit is a one-of-a-kind G.I. Joe modeled on actor Tom Hanks, who portrayed an Army officer in the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” 


Mr. Ashby will be bringing along several rare pieces from his private collection to the Museum for examination. 


He estimates that some of the rarer pieces in his collection are worth upwards of $2,000 on the collectors market. He showed me one with its original box in a Lucite case. Original cost: $3.49.


Joe himself has gone through many missions and forms through the years. After his introduction in 1964, his orientation could be termed “military realistic.” As sentiment against the Vietnam War increased in the late 1960s, Hasbro redefined Joe’s mission to that of an “adventurer.” 


The adventure team “mission” continued through 1976, a period that saw innovations to Joe’s repertoire such as “kung fu grip,” “eagle-eye vision” and lifelike hair and beards. The popularity led to spin-off toys, games, cartoons and comics, among many other items.


While no one enemy could deter G.I. Joe from his heroic deeds, an energy crisis in 1976 caused Hasbro to shrink his size and led to the introduction of several lines of 3.75” figures, giving a new dimension to the phrase “small but mighty” perhaps, with special editions to commemorate various anniversaries such as the 15th and 25th. 


Later, the 12-inch Joes made a triumphant return to the delight of collectors and little boys… and girls too! In the equal time for women department: note that towards the end of the last century, G.I. Janes were introduced in a series called the Classic Collection. These were the first 12-inch female dolls in the G.I. Joe line-up since 1967. 


And Tom Hanks is but one of the special G.I. Joes modeled after real people throughout his 50 years of service. Consider this partial list:

Buzz Aldrin
Omar Bradley
•  SFC Charlie Bury, 1999 "Real-Life Spirit of G.I. Joe" contest winner
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ulysses S. Grant
Bob Hope
John F. Kennedy (as skipper of the PT-109)
Robert E. Lee
Douglas MacArthur
Audie Murphy
George S. Patton
Colin Powell
Ernie Pyle
Theodore Roosevelt
George Washington
Ted Williams

No ordinary Joe, indeed. Apparently, this old soldier has no intention to die, retire, or as MacArthur said “just fade away.” 

So happy birthday G.I. Joe. I have no doubt that you are strong enough to blow out all 51 candles by yourself.


Comments on this story are always welcome.

Published in News


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