Ballston Spa Village Board/Ballston Journal

Board Wants to Change Angelica Zoning

BALLSTON SPA – Village officials want to change the industrial zoning for the Angelica property on Bath Street, but may not be able to do so.

At a Village Board meeting Monday, Trustee Noah Shaw, an attorney, said the hospital laundry company’s properties will be auctioned next week under bankruptcy procedures, including its closed plant in Ballston Spa. That property has been undergoing environmental remediation and demolition of some of its structures to the rear of the main building.

Before the auction happens, Shaw said, the board should signal that it wants to change the zoning, so that potential purchasers are aware of the possibility. He said he would not be inclined to support another industrial user there.

Trustee Shawn Raymond said he would also oppose a warehouse use. Mayor John Romano said he, too, has concerns about the industrial zoning, and would like to see instead the property redeveloped into commercial space on the ground floor with residential above.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, attorney Frank Rossi Jr. said that the village would not be able to change the zoning without approval from the federal bankruptcy court. Shaw said adding permitted uses would not reduce the value of the property. Officials agreed that there is not enough time to change the zoning before next week.

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In other business, Saratoga Springs Deputy Mayor Meg Kelly (a candidate to succeed Mayor Joanne Yepsen, who is not seeking re-election) and Peter Faith, a vice president of the engineering firm GPI, made a pitch for the Geyser Road Trail.  Romano has expressed criticism of the proposed trail, which would be built in the southwest portion of Saratoga Springs, adjacent to watershed property owned by the village on the north side of the road.

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The two-mile, “three-season” trail would go from Saratoga Spa State Park to the Milton town line. Concerns raised by Romano and other board members included getting the city to help indemnify the village for any costs incurred by trespassers on the watershed,  and increasing the $1,800 offer the city has made to buy 0.263 of an acre of village-owned land. Romano also stressed safety concerns, noting that young people have been killed trespassing on a rail line near the village, and one could have been killed in a recent sewer mishap on a closed portion of the Zim Smith Trail. The city is proposing to install a five-foot fence between the trail and the village-owned land, but there would be gaps at driveway and road crossings. Village and city officials agreed to further discussions on these issues.

In other business in the almost two-and-a-half hour meeting (which Romano said was by far the longest in his lengthy tenure as mayor), the board voted to seek bids from vendors for a used loader for the Department of Public Works. The expenditure will have to be bonded, according to Trustee Bob Cavanaugh, and should amount to about $75,000. The board also bought three hydrants for the DPW at a total cost of $8,075.

Several expenditures were made for the Eagle-Matt Lee Fire Co., including $8,723 for gear and $4,269 for repairs to the firehouse façade.

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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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