The Recorder

Aldermen vote down appointment for Golf Commission

By Chantelle DeRose

Recorder News Staff

The Amsterdam Common Council voted down a resolution Tuesday appointing a new member to the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Commission, citing issues with the individual.

During Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen voted 3-2 against a resolution to appoint Ronald Barone to the Golf Commission to fill a vacancy left by Matthew Ossenfort, who resigned last week.

Deputy Mayor and 3rd Ward Alderman Chad Majewski, 1st Ward Alderman Edward Russo and 4th Ward Alderman Rodney Wojnar voted no on the resolution.

Wojnar said after the meeting that he did not agree with those who voted in favor of Barone.

“It wouldn’t have been the right move. I think the whole golf committee would have resigned,” Wojnar said. “He’s been in that position before and it didn’t move the golf course forward.”

Majewski echoed Wojnar’s concerns.

“Ron tends to sound himself or create controversy and I think he would be a hiccup in the process of bringing the golf course back to where we need it to be,” Majewski said.

Russo declined to comment regarding his vote.

In other business:

•  The Common Council discussed a list of foreclosure properties and setting a date for an auction.

“We’re shooting for July for an auction. We expect to file a petition for foreclosure this Wednesday or next Monday,” said Corporation Counsel William E. Lorman.

Controller Matthew A. Agresta presented a detailed timeline for the auction and foreclosure process.

“Once [filing the petition] happens, we need to have all of the title searches done. With 350 properties, that’s going to be a rather large list. It’s going to take a couple of months at minimum to do,” Agresta said. “Then we will need to draft a letter that will be sent to each of those individuals or corporations by both first class and certified mail. When we do that, we need to pick a date where we’re going to foreclose. That date has to be three months after we publish that first list in the newspaper. If everything goes smoothly, we’re hoping for July.”

Majewski raised concerns regarding the winterizing houses to prevent damage from the cold weather.

“My only concern was that we’ve got a lot of those houses that — some of them could be abandoned—sit through the winter and we don’t winterize them,” Majewski said. “If you have a house and all of the pipes burst over the winter, that house is going to go from a $60,000 or $80,000 house to a $20,000 house. There’s got to be something we can do.”

• Aldermen also listened to an update on the status of the Memory Lane Daycare, which is being constructed on the St. Mary’s Institute Campus.

“They’ve been making a lot of headway. They received the grant from Homes and Community Renewal last year to their existing location which is in Broadalbin to right next to St. Mary’s Institute,” Amanda Bearcroft said. “They received a $100,000 grant and they’ve expunged roughly about $95,000, so we just wanted to have a public hearing before all the money was spent. They also have an ESD grant as well that will go into effect after they’ve gone through the amount from Homes and Community Renewal.”

The Amsterdam Planning Board granted Memory Lane Daycare LLC a special use permit and site plan approval in June to operate a daycare at the site of the former CloverPatch Preschool.

At the time, Chris DiCaterino, of Memory Lane Daycare, said they were looking to serve 20 to 30 children. DiCaterino also mentioned at the time they would hire 10 full-time positions within two years to comply with the grants received.

However, on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Villa clarified that 16 people must be hired in order to reach a hiring quota. He said that these benchmarks must be met or the state will not fund them.

• Gina DeRossi was appointed to the AIDA Board effective immediately, due to a resignation. DeRossi was previously the 3rd Ward Alderwoman for two terms.

• Aldermen approved a resolution that would change the time of the Oct. 17 Amsterdam Common Council meeting to 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be moved due to a presentation that will take place at 7 p.m. at the Housing Authority. The presentation will be informational and open to the public with the intention of discussing three possible sites for a train station. Also approved at the meeting was a resolution to change the Nov. 7 scheduled date of the Common Council meeting to Nov. 8 due to Election Day.

• Aldermen amended and adopted an ordinance which states that no person shall park a vehicle from Julia Street to Van Street between the times of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days. The amended resolution states that no person shall park from the corner of Julia Street and Church Street to Pole 2.