Submitted by Chris Rossi
(Hamilton, NY – Oct. 2012) Our Oct. 11 Hamilton Town Council meeting opened with news from Shannon Montaro from the Partnership for Community Development. The PCD is a unique non-profit organization created as a collaborative effort of the village and town of Hamilton and Colgate University. All three entities provide financial support to the PCD, whose mission is to enhance community vitality and economic opportunity in and around Hamilton.
Shannon reported that this year the PCD will offer specialized training and micro-grants for local businesses, with a particular focus on agricultural businesses. In addition to sponsoring community events such as the Chocolate Wreck Festival, the PCD also provides grant writing assistance to the town and village governments.
Our highway superintendent reported on the work done by our team at the town garage. Beyond the usual tasks of ditching, mowing, trimming and replacing road signs, preparations are being made for winter by securing fuel oil bids. Our efforts toward reducing costs at the town garage continue with the town council authorizing the installation of a 15.75 kw solar system that will cover 100 percent of the energy needs of the town garage.
The contract for the $39,375 project will be overseen by Arista Power as part of the county wide Solarize Madison project. This project will save the taxpayers approximately $2,000 yearly in lowered energy costs with a payback of 12 to 13 years.
The town council continues to explore ways to save money by sharing services with the villages of Hamilton and Earlville by refining how we replace our highway equipment. The goal is to lower the cost of doing town business and reduce the cost passed along to our community.
Energy concerns were also discussed. The town council agreed to move forward with our energy working group’s recommendations on road use laws. The EWG will arrange for a meeting with Delta engineering to learn more about its road protection programs. We will invite other local municipalities to join the meeting in hopes of keeping costs down through sharing services.
Work continues on our 2013 budget with public workshops held Oct. 4 and 23. The public hearing on our preliminary budget takes place Nov. 1 in the Hamilton Town Office at 7 p.m. Once again, we invite community members and anyone who might be interested in running for the town council in the future to join us.
The Hamilton Town Council meets the second Thursday of each month at the Town of Hamilton office in the village of Hamilton at 7 p.m. Our next regular meeting is Thursday, Nov. 8. The Town Budget Hearing is Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. We invite and encourage you to join us.
For more information, visit www.townofhamiltonny.org/.
Chris Rossi is a member of the Hamilton Town Council.