Milton Town Board/Ballston Journal

Milton Buying Excavator for $367,090

MILTON – The Town Board voted Wednesday to authorize purchase of a $367,090 excavator for the Highway Department.

The money for the purchase under New York state contract was included in this year’s town budget.

Milton Town Board/Ballston Journal

Milton Town Board/Ballston Journal

The 2017 Gradall XL4100 excavator, made in the United States, will replace a 1998 version of the same model. Highway Superintendent David Forbes, interviewed during a break in the meeting, said the old excavator will be auctioned through Saratoga County, with a minimum bid set of about $20,000.

The excavator is the most expensive vehicle in the town fleet, Forbes said, and has a variety of uses, including clearing ditch lines, putting in catch basins and pipes, removing snow, trees and branches, even painting and putting up Christmas lights. “It’s used on a daily basis,” he said.

Supervisor Dan Lewza said after the meeting that the town is able to save on staffing costs because it keeps its equipment in good shape and up to date.

In other business, the board discussed a request from Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano that it help fund a proposed 9/11 memorial, to be constructed next to the village hall on Front Street (which is in the town of Milton). The village announced plans for a memorial last year centered around an artifact from the site of the destroyed World Trade Center. The steel rails were brought to Ballston Spa from New York City in May.

Lewza suggested a contribution of $3,500, but agreed to a suggestion from Councilman Benny Zlotnick that the total cost of the project be ascertained before any decision is made. Lewza said he would seek that information from Romano.

Councilman Bruce Couture announced that he will be resigning from the board next month. He told the Journal later this was for “personal reasons,” and declined to go into more detail. The board also accepted the resignation of Fred Harris from the Zoning Board. The Town Board will be tasked with filling both vacancies, along with two vacancies on the Ethics Board.

Couture was appointed to the Town Board in 2014 and elected in 2015. He said he will remain a member of the committee planning this year’s 225th anniversary celebration of the town’s founding.

Town Historian Kim McCartney said the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors would honor deceased veteran Henry Cornell at 2 p.m. on April 18. Cornell, after whom the American Legion post in Ballston Spa is named, was killed by weaponized poison gas in 1918 during World War I, McCartney said.

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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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