MILTON – The year 2014 was a busy one for the Milton Town Board. Between the opening of the Saratoga Hospital building, to revisions at the Burgess-Kimball Park and the addition of a new park on Rowland Street, the board wasn’t short of projects to work on; but according to Supervisor Dan Lewza, 2015 has just as much in store.
The Milton Town Board held its 2015 organizational meeting Wednesday, Jan. 7 and began the new year by swearing in Councilman Bruce Couture.
Couture was welcomed to the Milton Town Board last February, replacing John Mancini, and won his re-election in November.
“I look forward to working with the other board members in continuing to move Milton forward,” said Couture. “Looking down the pipeline, I think we have a great year ahead of us.”
In continuing with the town’s mission to recognize good works done by the community, the Milton Matters Committee presented the 2014 Milton Matters Award to Anthony and Julie Abeel for their work with Abeel’s Restaurant in Ballston Spa.
The property has exchanged hands many times since the 1930’s and has operated under many different identities – Derby’s Pine Lodge, Sophie’s Hemlock Inn and the Bear’s Head Inn. The Abeels purchased the property in 2002.
“In the 12 years since they’ve owned it, they’ve taken a once stately but finely neglected piece of property and turned it into a showcase of American ingenuity with the ‘can do’ spirit that has made our nation a proud and resourceful community,” said Dave Beals, Milton Matters Committee Chairman.
The restaurant, which serves American cuisine, is located at 910 Rock City Road.
“We appreciate everyone’s support and we appreciate the town’s support,” said Julie. “It’s been a long struggle to get to where we’re at and we’ve finally made it.”
Also on the agenda were various housekeeping items. The board approved more than $150,000 in contributions to 19 different groups including the Ballston Spa Public Library, Friends of the Kayaderosseros, Gateway House of Peace, and the Saratoga County Office for the Aging-Transportation, among others.
A new year also means new appointments to town leadership. Benny Zlotnick and Bruce Biesenback were appointed to the Town of Milton Planning Board, with Meg Stevens appointed as an alternate.
Kimberly Weaver was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals as chairwoman and Amber Tonkin was appointed as a full-time animal control officer, replacing Officer Richard Pine.
“Animal Control Officer is a very difficult position to do,” said Supervisor Lewza. “It takes a special person to do this position and when [Richard Pine] went out sick this year, Amber came in and worked part-time for us and did an excellent job filling in. She has serviced the town exceptionally well so with that, we would like to reward her for a full-time position.”
In another change in personnel, the board also accepted ethics board member, Jim Reagan’s resignation and re-appointed James Craig to the position of Town Attorney.
Supervisor Lewza will outline the 12 town committees and brief members at the board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21, which include: Budget; Personnel; Youth Bureau; Seniors and Veterans Affairs; Historic Structures and Places; Heritage Springs Sewer Works Committee; Maps and Zoning Revising; Disaster Preparedness; Burgess Kimball Park; Town Complex Feasibility; Open Space; and Farm Protection Committee.
The first meeting of the year wrapped up with Supervisor Lewza’s goals for the town in the next 12 months, which include the Milton Town Center project that is expected to be completed in early June and the addition of “Kiddie Land” in Burgess-Kimball Park in mid-summer.
“I think 2015 is going to be a great year for the Town of Milton,” said Lewza. “Things are going really well in the town…we have a good team here and we’re definitely moving in the right direction.”