November 2019 – Guilderland, NY – November is a quiet time in your Town parks, and an excellent time to enjoy hiking trails. Please take a look at Hike Guilderland!, a useful Town website application that provides interactive mapping of hiking trails. When winter’s snows arrive (sorry), the trails are suitable for snowshoeing. The Western Turnpike Golf Course is in excellent condition with year-end specials. When or if that snow arrives, the golf course is used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with trails extending into adjacent Tawasentha Park. Sledding takes place at the Winter Recreation Area, a short distance south of the Tawasentha Park entrance.
Highway Department employees diligently work to keep Town roads free of obstructions that inhibit travel, limit sight distance, or pose unsafe conditions for pedestrians and vehicles. This work is particular important in the fall and winter. You can help Highway Department crew by raking leaves to the edge of, and not on, the paved road surface. Piles of leaves on streets reduce visibility, particularly in the fall’s lengthening nighttime, and, with heavy rain falls, have clogged storm drains, caused flooded roads, generate odors from decaying leaves and organic material, and unnecessarily increase maintenance costs.
November is also the start of restricted parking which helps provide for the safe passage of school buses, emergency vehicles, and highway trucks due to accumulated snow and dark conditions. No parking is permitted on Town roads from November 1st to April 1st between 2am and 7am. On certain streets, there are also posted signs that limit parking to specific days and times.
The Town’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is continuing with its successful assumption of responsibility for providing ambulance services in Town. Response times to calls have been shortened to about five minutes. The EMS Department is planning the deployment of a third advanced life support ambulance during overnight hours to further enhance the arrival time of ambulances at emergencies. The Highway Department has helped immensely with this vital mission by keeping a full complement of ambulances in service with preventive and regular maintenance. The Town’s proposed 2020 budget includes the acquisition of a new ambulance, and establishes and funds a reserve for future ambulance and equipment purchases.
Another reminder (there will be more notices over the next few months) that the NYS Thruway plans to remove and rebuild the Old State Road bridge over the Thruway, starting next April. The work is anticipated to take seven months. Old State Road is an important connector road, and the bridge’s extended shutdown will cause significant disruptions. Please take the time now to consider alternative routes for trips that might involve this closed bridge. It will be a major change for daily commuters, weekend travel, and that last minute dash to the airport. As more details about timing become available, we will update the Town website and provide Nixle® notices. Later this month, the Thruway’s inspection report and proposed detours will be placed on the Highway Department’s webpage.
The 2020 U.S. Census is coming soon, with the National Census Day, or count day, on April 1, 2020. It is important to the Town that there is an accurate and complete count, which plays a large role in securing Federal funds, particularly for road improvements, and representation in Congress and redistricting of State and Federal voting districts. The final population figure will also impact the Town’s share of sales tax revenues. We will soon add more information about the 2020 census on the Town website. The Census Bureau is still hiring workers for this vital work. Please check out 2020census.gov/jobs for available positions in the area.
You might be interested in seeing if the State is holding unclaimed funds for you or your family members. As of early November, the NYS Comptroller had $16 billion in unclaimed property State-wide, with $56,537,020 held for Albany County residents spread over 112,693 accounts. This free service allows you to input your first and last names in a search engine at www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/ which will provide you with results consisting of a list of addresses and entities associated with unclaimed funds for the inputted name, and how you can submit a claim, often online, for the funds.
At its November 19th meeting at 7pm, the Town Board will hear a presentation by Municipal Energy and Gas Alliance, Inc. about the Community Choice Aggregation program (CCA), which enables the Town to join with other municipalities in combined bids for electrical power upon behalf of residents at lower rates. National Grid would remain responsible for delivery and billing, and continue to handle service calls. Among the CCA goals are savings and rate stability, and a range of renewable energy options.
Saturday, November 30th is Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated nationwide to supporting small businesses. It is well-recognized that two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses stays in the Town. Please help support the Town’s expanding and diverse local business community on this special day and throughout the year.
On Monday, November 11th, Town offices will be closed in observance of Veterans’ Day. The Transfer Station is closed on Saturday, November 9th. Please take the time to remember and thank the women and men who served to protect our country and fellow citizens. On November 28th and 29th, Town offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I close by wishing you and your family an enjoyable and safe Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving, and thank you for taking the time to read these notes.
Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor
Peter Barber is Guilderland Town Supervisor.