Malta Town Board/Ballston Journal

Malta Committee Seeks More Commercial Development

MALTA – Councilman Timothy Dunn, chairman of the Malta Economic Development Committee, reported back to the Town Board Monday, saying the committee wants to bring more commercial projects to Malta.

Dunn said the volunteer committee, which includes some business leaders, was concerned about the “negative perceptions from developers and the business community” about building projects in Malta, and about zoning and land-use regulations that are viewed as “illogical.” Until recently, he said, “there’s been resistance to growth” in the town, which has fed these perceptions of it being “anti-development.”

Malta Town Board/Ballston Journal

Malta Town Board/Ballston Journal

As a result, Dunn said, there has been insufficient commercial development and so insufficient growth in the tax base, while some neighborhoods lack needed water and sewer service.

Dunn said Malta should be seen “as a place to work, not just live.” The current Town Board, he said, has already made progress along these lines, and plans more, by adjusting zoning on Routes 9 and 67 to permit more commercial development. He said this was “trying to align zoning with economic realities.”

Dunn said his committee hopes to deliver a plan for Town Board consideration this summer. Its meetings are open to the public, but are not currently listed on the town web site. There were no comments from the Town Board or the public about Dunn’s presentation.

During a break in the meeting, Dunn said he would not answer questions about the Economic Development Committee from a Ballston Journal reporter, indicating he was upset about recent coverage.

In other business, Supervisor Vincent DeLucia announced that Darren O’Connor would be resigning as deputy supervisor at the end of the year, in order to fill the new position of deputy town attorney. He will be paid $50 per hour in his new job, not to exceed $25,000 in 2017. He was paid an annual stipend of $1,500 as deputy supervisor. The town attorney, Thomas Peterson, will be paid $58,913.79 in 2017.

An actuarial report from Ray Cerrone of Jefferson Solutions about retiree medical benefits said the town has an “unfunded actuarial accrued liability” of $5,421,737, which is projected to increase to $5,790,998 by the end of next year. The “annual required contribution” will go up from $477,900 to $498,843.

These reports are done every two years, Cerrone said. He said Malta has done a better job managing retiree medical costs than some other towns in the region.

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Reporter Bob Conner has worked 21 years in various positions at the Gazette of Schenectady, and before that four years as a reporter at the Glens Falls Post-Star. He won two first-place writing awards from the New York Associated Press Association for newspapers with circulation between 50,000 and 250,000. Bob has a Phi Beta Kappa bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University, and an associate’s degree in chemical dependency counseling from HVCC. He is a published author and is currently writing a historical novel about the last four months in the life of Ulysses S.Grant

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