BALLSTON SPA – The members of the Union Fire Co. No. 2 of the Village of Ballston Spa have released the results of their annual election held April 4. [Read more…]
The Town of Milton is known for a lot of things, one of which is their love and respect for the history of their home.
Recently, Town Historian Royann Blodgett noticed the 16 town historic markers were looking a little worse for the wear after years of brutal summer temperatures, winter snow, ice and salt. A couple have even been knocked down in hit-and-run accidents.
Blodgett realized it was way past time for an overhaul and refurbishing of the signs, so she started talking to Russell Nowhitney and Jeff Manning of the Highway Department about possibly doing them all at once.
“It became obvious that it was time,” said Blodgett. “In the past we’ve restored one or two at a time, but never all at once.”
The restoration project began a few weeks ago when the highway department took down all the signs and brought them into the highway garage for the restoration. Sean Mulvaney and Chris Colangelo from the Buildings and Grounds Department have been working on the restoration project ever since.
The restoration consists of removing the paint from the steel signs, priming them and then repainting the signs with their distinctive blue backgrounds with yellow lettering.
Mulvaney said the most time consuming part was removing the paint. At first they tried to grind the paint off, but soon discovered that wasn’t going to work. They decided to use a really strong paint thinner instead.
“We would still be grinding if not for the thinner,” he said.
Nowhitney estimated approximately 40-50 hours have been invested in the project so far. “It is very time consuming to do all the yellow lettering on the signs,” he said.
Catskill Castings in Bloomville, N.Y. cast the original signs. In fact, the company is responsible for all the historical markers in New York state, whether they are the state signs or the municipal ones. According to owner George Haynes, the company has been doing historical markers since 1989. The company took over from the Walton Foundry, who had been doing them since the 1920s.
“I’m very proud to see these markers in our beautiful state and to know we are a part of that history,” Haynes said.
The first sign in Milton went up in 1992 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the town. It marked the site of the first town meeting.
Ironically, the site is at Page’s Corners, which is now in the Town of Greenfield since town lines were redrawn in 1793.
Blodgett is very proud of the cooperation the two departments have had on the project, as well as the care and respect they have for the historical significance of the signs.
“The town of Milton cares about history,” she said. “We take pride. The markers are a part of our effort to remember our history.”
Blodgett said people can take a driving tour and see all the history of the town by viewing these markers.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the two departments working together to get this project done,” she said. “The historical signs are a way to respect and mark the history of our town.”
Highway Superintendent Dave Forbes is also proud of the cooperation between the two departments, as well as the meaningful history the signs represent.
“We try to work together,” he said. “I don’t think people realize the history that we have here in this town. I think it’s so important and a lot of the younger generation don’t grasp it. I think it’s a great thing (Blodgett’s) doing for this town.”
Forbes said the signs cost around $1,500 each.
“To be able to restore them in cooperation is a great thing,” he said. “One of my goals is to have teamwork, and saving money is a real good thing. When we’re working together under a consolidation we’re able to do that, we’re saving the taxpayers a lot of money. We’re moving the town in the right direction.”
Supervisor Dan Lewza was also pleased with the project. “This is a great thing that we are honoring our heritage,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for people to visit our history and learn more about our town.”
Manning said the goal is to have the signs back up within the next two to three weeks. “The signs will be remounted as they are completed,” he said.
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The Korean War is often referred to as “The Forgotten War.” Many people wanted to forget it happened, and many of the soldiers who fought in it wanted to forget their experiences. But unfortunately, far too many have forgotten the soldiers, too.
But that is not the case with Joseph Mulvaney, a long-time resident of Milton, who passed away on Aug. 14, 2012. Mulvaney was honored at the March 6 Milton Town Board meeting for his service to his country, as well as his 41-year service to the Union Fire Company.
“Two years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Mulvaney,” said Supervisor Dan Lewza when introducing a resolution honoring Mulvaney. “Joe believed in a strong community, a vibrant community. He gave of himself many years to this community.”
Mulvaney served in the Korean War, and after talking to him, Lewza said he learned Mulvaney’s main feelings towards the soldiers he served with is almost indescribable.
“You would have had to have listened to him and how much it meant to him and to the others that actually served with him, what type of man he was,” Lewza said. “We’re fortunate to have an individual such as Joe Mulvaney to be a resident of this town and we were very fortunate for the service he gave us.”
Lewza said the town had given a proclamation to Mulvaney’s family a couple of weeks ago at the county supervisors meeting, but grandson Sean Mulvaney had been unable to attend. Lewza then proceeded to give the proclamation to Sean Mulvaney at last night’s town board meeting and congratulate him on his grandfather’s service.
The proclamation states in part that the Town of Milton is proud of Joe Mulvaney’s service, which made it possible for all citizens to enjoy their freedoms and the opportunities which exist in this country.
“While he will be most severely missed, he will surely not be forgotten,” the proclamation reads. “The Town of Milton officially honors him for his service to our country as well as for his service and dedication to our town, our community and its residents.”
Joe Mulvaney was born in Saratoga Springs in 1934 and was a resident of Milton for many years, and worked at Tufflite Plastics in Ballston Spa. Besides being a 41-year member of the Union Fire Company, he was a member of the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Hudson Mohawk Volunteer Firefighter’s Association and the Royal Order of the Blue Vests.
He was also a 30-year member of American Legion Post 234 of Ballston Spa and a proud member of the Union Fire Company Band, something he passed on to his grandson Sean, who is also a member of the Union Fire Company and the company’s band. The young Mulvaney has fond memories of his grandfather.
“I’m very proud of him,” he said. “We miss him every day. “
Sean Mulvaney is actually a third-generation member of the fire department. He talked about what his grandfather meant to him. “He was always there, bringing me to wrestling matches and stuff,” Mulvaney said. “It meant a lot to me.”
“My grandfather was the type that didn’t want a lot of attention,” he said. “He would rather have everyone raise their glasses.”
Mulvaney said his grandfather loved playing cymbals in the Union Fire Company band.
“I took over playing the cymbals probably eight years ago when he got too old to play them,” he said. “He got really old where he couldn’t march anymore. I took over the cymbals and my father Mike plays the bass drum in the band. Now my father and I have switched. It’s kind of a family tradition. It’s probably my biggest memory of going to the fire house and talking to my grandfather. I miss him like crazy.”
Also at the March 6 meeting, Lewza announced he would be holding a public information session for the proposed new town park on Rowland Street, as well as the revision of the Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park, on March 20 at 7:05 p.m.
“I would like to give the residents more information,” said Lewza. “Once they see everything and how it is going to look, it will give us some guidelines on anything that concerns them and anything else that they would like to see in the parks. This will be their opportunity to speak up on that.”
The proposed new park and the revision of the existing park are part of Phase One of the Geyser Road Corridor project, which is funded by a million dollar grant from the NYS Department of Transportation and was introduced last fall. It includes several phases.
In conjunction with the project, Lewza also announced a public information session for the project on March 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Finally, the board set May 1 as the date for a public hearing on the town’s proposed comprehensive plan.
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