July finally brought summer weather! Hot and humid was the norm and it continues. Fall is right around the corner so enjoy the rest of summer!
As usual, we were busy in City Hall. The 4th of July Parade and The Mayor’s Cup & Regatta were held and good weather prevailed. Fireworks were held for both events. The Parade of Lights, downtown entertainment, and the sailing were well attended. I want to thank all of our sponsors, Sunrise Rotary, city employees, Beth Carlin, and Y106.3 for all of their support and assistance. The Plattsburgh Public Library was the location for the kick-off for the New York State Summer Reading Program announcement.
We continue to host fishing tournaments which are very important to the area. We also continue to meet with FEMA officials with the hopes of financial support for all those affected by flood damage. I visited the Strand Theatre with Stephens Mundy for a tour and was very impressed with the progress of this project. When the Strand opens it will most certainly solidify downtown but will be very important to the entire area as well.
As always, I dealt with the many constituent concerns and complaints which are always very time consuming. Some of the issues we are dealing with include downtown parking, animal control related problems, road construction/traffic, the footbridge, Saranac Trail project complaints, and neighbor/landlord relations.
Of course, regardless how we handle these issues it always seems I am at fault but we just do the best we can to work these problems out! I am pleased and appreciate the city construction projects and development which indicates to me the economy is challenging but is moving ahead slowly.
We will begin our budget sessions in early August which always concern me. Each and every budget we have worked on since becoming mayor have been difficult and this one is no exception. The mayor’s budget will be presented to the public and to the Common Council by Oct. 1 at the latest.
Everyone enjoy the end of the summer with friends and family! Thanks.
Don Kasprzak is mayor of the city of Plattsburgh.
As we work our way into the month of August, once again there are signs of change as back to school advertising has begun! This fall, in the Bassett home, our son will enter Potsdam State as a freshman. Like many other families, we are excited for him as we also prepare for changes in our home.
In July, the Clinton County Fair dodged the traditional week of showers but in its place had to manage some of the hottest temperatures of the season. Congratulations to Glenn and the Fair Board for their work and another outstanding event.
Though July was a little less hectic for us we remained busy. Most recently we have been working with the Kohl’s Department Stores. They have been in discussion with our Planning and Codes Departments. Kohl’s would be a welcomed addition to our local retail market. Also, work on the new Texas Road House ramped up last month in anticipation of a fall opening.
With two public hearings behind us, we continued to move forward with a new local law to regulate the management of solid waste. We also began our kick-off meetings with FEMA to address reimbursement for town expenses incurred during the spring flood.
As usual there were many meetings, committees and presentations to participate in. At the end of the second quarter, sales tax remained up and we are cautiously optimistic that those proceeds will be above what we budgeted for 2011. This is good news as we have been working to do upgrades that will pay dividends in the future by reducing our energy costs. We have also been working with a very aggressive highway-paving budget this summer. The good weather has enabled our Highway crew to make measurable progress and hopefully we will achieve our goals before the quarry closes this fall.
Though there is new optimism coming from Albany the economy remains fragile and many North Country families remain uncertain about their future. Still, I remain confident that the town of Plattsburgh will continue to make steady economic progress for the rest of this year and next.
Best wishes to everyone for a safe month of August and enjoy the second half of summer!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.