Tuesday, June 28, 2016

From Supervisor Jack Conway....June 27, 2016

After six months in office, it’s time to take a look at some of what has been achieved by the new Town Board.

We implemented a difficult and long overdue sewer rate increase after intensive analysis and a series of public hearings.  We’ve overhauled the planning department with a series of excellent appointments and an emphasis on the use of in-house resources instead of expensive consultants. We created a formal system for tracking and spending Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) fees so that infrastructure issues can be addressed and our parks revitalized.  Efforts to improve the Hampton Manor Park have included a volunteer cleanup, new playground equipment, the return of the gazebo, a new mural and rebuilt chimney for the Lakehouse, and a developing plan for a new walkway.  We’re seeking grants to improve the Town Park and are investigating the possibility of restoring swimming to the pond in the Park.

We restored the question and answer format to Town Board meetings and added public comment to pre-Board meetings. We’ve established an Honor a Veteran Program. We’ve held several meetings with residents of Hampton Manor concerning the drinking water in the Manor.  Efforts to revitalize Columbia Turnpike include a Rapid Action Plan that will incentivize redevelopment of small businesses, redrafting of the Town’s Building Code and Zoning Ordinance to facilitate a stronger code enforcement program, and working with landowners to improve appearances.  The Weathervane is gone.  We signed a new contract with our Police Officers and hope to do the same soon with our DPW employees and the Bruen Rescue Squad.  We’ve modernized the information technology in Town Hall by replacing our obsolete servers and purchasing new computers.

What’s next?  We’re preparing for an independent audit of the Town’s finances for 2015.

Our summer camp opens on July 5th and once again it is fully enrolled.  Road paving is scheduled for July 25-27.  In August we’ll pass a new Code of Ethics, one that will further remove politics from the business of our Town government.  We’re researching accounting software for the Town Comptroller and new designs for our website.  There’s much to be done but we’re excited about what has been achieved to date.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

From Supervisor Jack Conway.....

The demolition of the Weathervane began today. It should take 3 or 4 days to complete the demolition and site clean up.  That building stood for almost 75 years but has been vacant the last 8.  This Town Board was adamant that the building had to be taken down but we got a great response from the property owners, who agreed that it was an important first step in revitalizing Columbia Turnpike.  It's going to take a lot of cooperation between the public and private sector to make things happen and today showed the promise and possibility of getting that done.

Today was noteworthy for several other reasons.  It marks the END of the decline of Columbia Turnpike.  It is the opening salvo in a major code enforcement push on 9&20. And it lays the groundwork for a Rapid Action Plan that will provide significant incentives for redevelopment on that corridor.  This Town Board has made code enforcement and the revitalization of 9&20 very high priorities. Today is only the beginning.