February is a short month that goes quickly but it is an important one as the end of February brings us out of a winter focus and, with the longer days and somewhat warmer temperatures, thoughts of spring begin to enter our minds!
The much anticipated closing on the Laurentian project remains on track and the town has begun to focus on our role to provide services and needed improvements in infrastructure. We are making progress on a formal study of the former PARC property to identify wastewater system concerns with infiltration that must be remediated.
In February all employees will have completed a refresher CPR course. Each employee, as well as appointed and elected officials, also participates in an annual safe driving course. I was pleased to participate, again this year, in the opening ceremonies for the Post 1619 Winter Carnival weekend. It was a spectacular opening with a Lake Champlain Perch dinner followed by an outstanding display of fireworks and the start of a number of winter games and competitions. This event is quickly becoming a flagship activity for the North Country.
This month we also welcomed Scott Stoddard to his new position as Director of the Water Wastewater Department. Scott brings great expertise to the position as well as a personality that has blended well with our management team. I was also pleased to have Greg Bell and County Treasurer Joe Giroux attend our monthly Clinton County Supervisor's meeting. They presented an end of the year sales tax review and provided insight to what we might expect for sales tax revenue in 2011. Our Election Commissioners, Sue Castine and Gregory Campbell, also joined us. Supervisors expressed appreciation for the financial support that County Government gave to help off set the cost of last year's election. The Commissioners also made recommendations to help control escalating cost for elections that has been created as a result of the new machines that made their appearance last November.
Our Building and Maintenance team, with help from Parks and Recreation, is nearing completion on the renovation of our Town Court and Court Clerk offices. The number of cases as well as the need to improve security helped drive the changes that will improve service and working conditions. Judges will have new chambers and clerks will have much more room and space for deskwork and storage. The court has also been remodeled. Our skilled work force was able to design and build the project saving taxpayer money by utilizing our internal resources to meet our needs.
This month I attended the Strategic Tourism and Planning Committee meeting as well as a Destination Master Plan Committee meeting. Those committees have been highly successful in promoting and developing marketing strategies to help secure local events that bring entertainment and revenue to our region. I also joined with other community leaders to meet with Lieutenant Governor Duffy to hear his message, on behalf of the Governor, concerning this year's State Budget.
It was a short month but a busy one. I believe that our work will help bring many changes and new opportunity this spring and summer to the benefit of all!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.