Another month has flown by with many exciting new announcements while working to build our budget for 2011.
Recently, I had the pleasure to join A.P.G Neuros for the opening of their production facility on Banker Road in the Town of Plattsburgh. I was pleased to tour the plant and meet their staff and management. I have a feeling that the company will become a good North Country contributor with much opportunity for expansion and growth. Equally exciting was the announcement that Spirit Air will be providing service to and from our Plattsburgh International Airport. It's exciting to see such positive growth in the town that will also benefit our region. A number of other projects continued to move forward this month with the recent ground breaking for our new Taco Bell restaurant and the opening of Moe's Southwest Grill in the former Lums Building. The Comfort Inn will also reopen this month with their restaurant, banquet rooms and health club soon to follow.
The creation of jobs and building the tax base was a focus of this year's political campaigns, at all levels. It's comforting that we have been able to do our part but we must also face some harsh realities. This has been a difficult year. Without spending or adding to the town's services, we faced approximately a $1 million gap in our 2011 budget that needed to be closed. Declining sales tax, the loss of PILOT payments, increased State Retirement System contributions and insurance increases were the main cause of this situation. Though department heads worked with us to cut spending and close the gap, we must continue to prioritize our decision making in a manner that continues to promote growth, control the cost of local government and work within our means. Some projects will be delayed but services will not be cut and we will continue to promote the town as a progressive municipality to live, work and invest in. It is difficult but also very important to balance short-term thinking and decision making with long-term goals.
Though it will not be easy and it will not come quickly, I firmly believe we are working our way out of this recession and that we will be positioned for a more prosperous future.
The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Another season has passed and another will begin. I want to remind everyone to change the batteries on fire alarms, check chimneys before firing up the stove and to do other seasonal maintenance to prepare for a safe winter.