Mayor’s Message – 2016 Year End Review

  March 20, 2017

As I begin to write this review from 2016, I am saddened by the news of a member of the Menands community having passed away. Steve O’Connell dedicated so mucah of his time to our community, especially to our youth. He was a member of the Menands Cares community group, helped to build the concession stand at the park, was a former member of the Menands School Board of Education, coached several sports and was

Co-President of the Menands Junior Baseball and Softball League. Steve never hesitated to help anyone in need and always had a smile on his face. My deepest condolences go out to Steve’s family and friends and I am forever grateful for all that he gave to the Menands Community.


In October we said good-bye, with thanks, to Village Clerk John Berry who moved to Florida with his family to start a new chapter in their lives. We wish the Berry’s the very best in this new endeavor. In November, we appointed Don Handerhan as our new Village Clerk. Don has worked for Menands since 1998 as a dispatcher and we believe his knowledge of the Village will be a great asset to his new position as Village Clerk.


There is never enough thanks to go around for the hard work of our Village employees. Without the support from our Village Board members; Deputy Mayor Aileen Nicoll and Trustees Seth Harris, Steve Boulet and Diane Foley and our dedicated staff, all that has been accomplished this past year would not be possible.


Public Safety:

The Village of Menands is very fortunate to maintain our own Dept. of Public Works, Police and Fire Depts. Many of the services provided by these departments goes unnoticed and while seen as routine to them it’s what keeps us safe on a daily basis.


Dept. of Public Works:

In addition to the numerous services performed regularly for the residents, such as trash, recycling and leaf pick-up, salting and snow removal, etc., the DPW had a busy year with other projects. Just to mention a few:

  • Fortunately, there were fewer water main breaks than last year and they were repaired as quickly as possible to ensure minimal disruption of service to the residents and businesses.
  • Continued maintenance of DPW equipment.
  • Installed solar crosswalk signs at Menands School. Thank you to Paul Cooney for your assistance.
  • Assisted with street sign inventory and replaced and maintained street signs. Thanks again Paul.
  • Replaced water valves to expedite necessary shut downs.
  • Grinder pump replacements.
  • Maintenance of storm drains.
  • Congratulations to Jon Sehl on his retirement from the DPW after 30 years of service.
  • Welcomed Josh and Matt to the DPW staff.
  • Assisted engineers with infrastructure projects.
  • Responded to resident concerns of various issues.
  • Hanging baskets and banners along Broadway.
  • Field prep and maintenance of parks.
  • New Equipment:
    • Pick-up truck
    • Lawn mower
    • Demo Saw
    • Hand tool auger


Menands Fire Dept.:

We are forever grateful to the volunteer members of the Menands Fire Dept. for their dedication to ensure the safety of those who live and work in Menands. New members are always welcome.

  • 2016/17 officers were sworn in and we congratulate them on their service and commitment. In April the 2017/18 election of officers will take place. The Village looks forward to working with those elected.
  • Hosted their annual open house in October.
  • Mutual Aide response to assist other Town of Colonie Fire Departments.
  • Lieutenant Brendan Murphy was honored as 2016 Firefighter of the Year by the Colonie Elks Club.
  • Welcomed new member Angel Quinones, III, and reinstated member Elizabeth Brickman.
  • Worked with other Village Depts. to review site plan applications for new building projects.
  • Sold 1987 Sutphen Firetruck to the City of Cohoes.
  • Escorted Santa around the Village in December during a special Santa Detail.
  • New equipment:
    • 3 gas meters, adapters and calibration kit
    • Hoses for firetruck bucket
    • Breathing Air Regulator for firetruck bucket
    • Replaced 3 sets of turn-out gear
    • New LED flashlights.
    • 2 Thermal Imaging Cameras

Total calls – 284 (including but not limited to):

  • Fire Alarms – 69
  • Mutual Aide – 49
  • EMS calls – 70
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – 32
  • Structure Fires – 13


Menands Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary:

  • No 711 calls
  • The 2016/17 officers were sworn in and we are grateful for the commitment of the Auxiliary members to the MFD and our community.
  • Welcomed new members Katherine Cavanaugh, Susan Dube and Nancy Sposito.
  • Hosted Annual Life Member and Past Presidents Brunch, including a fashion show.
  • New members are always welcome!


Menands Police Dept.:

Providing 24/7 protection in Menands our police department are the first responders on most calls. In addition to police protection, the MPD is also involved in community events.

  • Officers Paul Stone and Ty Bariteau were honored at the Town of Colonie Law Day Breakfast.
  • Officer Paul Stone was awarded the Guy J. Barringer Community Service Award by the Albany County Sheriff’s Dept. Stop DWI program.
  • The MPD held an open house in October to meet the officers, tour the police station and explore a police cruiser.
  • Officer Aaron St. Gelais was promoted to Sergeant.
  • Officer John Favata was welcomed to the force.
  • Assisted in site plan review applications for new building projects.
  • Escort school buses for the safety of the students. Greet the students upon arrival at school.
  • The PBA contributes to many events and charities throughout the year.
  • Police patrol at various events, such as Concerts in the Park and Village Picnic.
  • New Equipment:
    • New patrol car
    • New investigators vehicle

Total Calls:

  • Calls for service – 8,671
  • Property checks – 10,666
  • Miles traveled – 140,481
  • Criminal arrests – 368
  • Traffic tickets – 1732
  • Motor vehicle accidents – 171



  • Amended Chapter 160-31 of Village Code to exclude heavy trucks from certain streets for the safety of the residents.
  • Adopted a policy to create a smoke-free environment for all Village parks and playgrounds.
  • Continued participation in Albany County’s Emergency Managers Program and Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • Continued to explore grant opportunities for the safety of our residents.



  • Renovations to the Wards Pump Station.
  • Pipe lining and manhole rehabilitation of the Simmons Lane sanitary sewer line.
  • Drainage improvements on Louis Avenue.
  • Leak detection on water system.
  • Camera work on water lines for blockages and infiltration.
  • NYS DOT Broadway Road Diet was completed including the installation of a cross walk and flashing lights near Village One Apartments for safe crossing of residents at the request of the Village.
  • Additional street lights were installed and upgraded at the north end of Broadway by the Village of Menands and Town of Colonie to increase visibility.



In an ongoing effort to return to a paving program in the Village, the following streets were paved in 2016:

  • Louis Avenue
  • Sky Hollow Drive
  • MacAffer Drive
  • Momrow Terrace
  • Entrance to the High Service Reservoir and VRB pump station.

We will continue paving additional streets this summer.



Efforts to attract new businesses to Menands are an ongoing process and we will continue to reach out to new and existing businesses to ensure a business friendly environment in 2017 and beyond. Special thanks to Bill Giering, Paul Reuss and Lyle Darmetko for working closely with developers and assisting them through the Site Plan Review Process to expedite projects and make sure all requirements are met. I hear regularly how refreshing it is to work with our departments from developers and am grateful for that.

  • The Albany Lofts at One Broadway had their ribbon cutting in December for their $34 million project of renovating the former Albany International property into 145 high end apartments.
  • The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society began construction of their new state of the art facility to provide greater service for the animals.
  • Finishers Trade Institute completed the upgrades to the exterior of their building with a beautiful new façade.
  • RAD Soap completed renovations and relocated their business to Menands.
  • AAA renovated the exterior of their building.
  • Family Dollar opened their new store along Broadway.
  • The Village Board adopted a Planned Development District as part of our zoning for an additional tool towards economic growth.
  • Amended Chapter 138 of Village Code, Signs and Billboards, to create a more enjoyable and pleasing community.
  • Updated our Design Guidelines to reflect changes to our zoning map and promote the Village’s

vision for our community.

  • Enhanced our Site Plan Review Process including a Site Plan Application Checklist and Application Form for every new project to assist developers with requirements and expedite projects.
  • To streamline applications for new projects our Building Dept., MPD, MFD and DPW work together to ensure that all public safety matters are addressed.
  • The Semi-Annual Business Breakfasts were held in May and October. This is an opportunity for the business community to enjoy an awesome breakfast catered by Poppy’s Place, to hear what is happening in Menands and to meet Village representatives and each other. Our guest speakers were Brad Shear from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and Dr. Maureen Long, Superintendent of Menands School.



  • Village Gardener, Dianne MacFarland, during the growing season in 2016, maintained the flower beds and hanging pots in the Village. Seeing dry weather conditions, Dianne, with help from the DPW, worked 324 hours to keep up with the watering.
  • With donations from Michelle and Frank Esposito and help from the DPW and Bill Giering, Dianne created a beautiful Fall display on the island.
  • Dianne filled the stone pots with holiday greens and ribbons.
  • The Fourth Annual Grow Menands contest was held in the Village. The 2016 winners were Dianne MacFarland for her tireless efforts as Village Gardener and resident Joyce O’Brien for her beautiful gardens, especially her hydrangea bushes. Thank you to Bill Giering for spearheading this effort.



  • The 2016 Summer Park Program was successful and offered exciting trips to Stonycreek Ranch Resort, Boat Cruise and day at Million Dollar Beach, Yankee Stadium, Boston Aquarium and Duck Boat Ride, Clifton Park Ice Skating, Seussical the Musical, Bronx Zoo, and Colonie Town Pool.
  • Director Brianna Coughlin and her counselors hosted the annual Easter, Halloween and Christmas parties.
  • The Menands Jr. Baseball and Softball League dedicated the 2016 season to Yusef Westerman.
  • The baseball league, CYO basketball and Youth Soccer league all enjoyed successful seasons.



  • The Menands Seniors celebrated Nonagenarian Members (over 90 years young) with a special luncheon. With ages ranging from 90 – 102, there were 21 members celebrated.
  • Menands Senior, Josephine Wells, received the Colonie Senior Service Centers, Marion T. Lamar Health and Wellness award for leading the seniors in exercise and health classes for the past 15 years.
  • The Seniors enjoyed several trips during 2016, including a trolley ride in the Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Dinner at Il Faro Restaurant and Proctors Theater for the musical “Once”, The Lorenzo State Historic Site, Lake Placid Marina and Boat Tours with lunch at Mirror Lake Inn, Niagara Falls Canada, Salem Witch Museum and Westchester Bway Dinner Theatre for “Saturday Night Fever”.

New members, ages 55 and older, are always welcome, and can enjoy exciting trips planned for 2017.



One of the special things about Menands is that there are always events to support local charities and bring the community together.

  • Pay It Forward Together continues to serve the Menands and Watervliet communities with year round events, such as Back to School Closet, Prom Closet, making blankets for the homeless and lunches for homeless shelters.
  • The annual Fuel for School and Fill the Mayflower food drives were great successes, collecting supplies to replenish the shelves of local food pantries.
  • The Annual Funtastic Fall Festival was held to benefit Derek Murphy and was a great success.
  • The 2016 Summer Concert Series was well attended and music by local bands was enjoyed by all.
  • Village Historian, Kevin Franklin continued to document events happening in the Village.


  • Our Village website has been revamped and the new website will go live this week. We hope you find it informative and an additional means of staying up to date on activities and notifications of things taking place in Menands. I thank the Village Board and departments for their contributions to the new website.
  • There are new projects already on the table for this year and we look forward to working with the developers to ensure a smooth transition to Menands.
  • We will continue to reach out to new and existing businesses while maintaining a business friendly environment and continued economic growth in our Village.
  • We are working with our Village engineer on grant opportunities to continue with necessary infrastructure work.
  • Additional streets will be paved this paving season and residents of those streets will be notified of scheduling.

This End of the Year Review is not exactly a quick read but I feel it is important to keep you updated on things happening in our Village and the positive growth that Menands continues to see. I look forward to reporting on the progress for 2017.

The members of the Village Board and our employees will continue to work hard to see Menands to its fullest potential, while maintaining the unique services that are offered and protecting those who live and work in our Village. I thank all of them for their hard work and dedication to the Village of Menands.

Until next time,

Mayor Meg