Mayor’s Message – November

  December 21, 2016

It is hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. It has been a busy and productive year. Following a great Summer, Fall activities began quickly. Menands has to be one of the most generous communities around with all the events that are held to recognize and help others!

The 2nd Annual FUEL FOR SCHOOL FOOD DRIVE was held in August to help replenish the supplies for the Food Pantries of the Capital District in time for school to begin. Spearheaded by Menands resident, Joe Legnard, over 1200 pounds of food was collected from village residents and businesses.

In October, the 4th Annual FUNTASTIC FALL FESTIVAL was held to benefit Derek Murphy, son of Menands Police Officer John Murphy. As always it was a great success, with games, music, raffles, food, and
Cow Plop Bingo.

The Annual VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARTY saw another great turnout. Starting with the traditional parade from the firehouse to the park, the kids were escorted by the MFD and MPD, Once at the park, Youth Director Brianna Coughlin, her counselors and the MFC, offered food and beverages, face painting and balloon art.

PAY IT FORWARD TOGETHER continues to serve the Watervliet and Menands communities. Hosting Back to School Closets at Bethany Hall, with clothing and school supplies for those in need, volunteering with other local charities, making blankets for the homeless and lunches to feed those in shelters, PIFT is a wonderful volunteer organization. Congratulations for the hard work and dedication of Carol Darmetko and all
of the volunteers.

The 9th Annual FILL THE MAYFLOWER FOOD DRIVE is scheduled for November 19th and 20th. Through the generous donations of residents and businesses and helping hands from many volunteers, this event helps local food pantries stock their shelves for the holiday season.

Congratulations to IL FARO RESTAURANT on their one year anniversary of the opening of their restaurant in Menands. In addition to their awesome food, owners Chris and Jess have become very active in the community, supporting many causes. We wish them continued success for years to come.

The MENANDS FIRE DEPT. hosted their annual open house in October. The kids (and adults) enjoyed rides in the fire truck, going up in the bucket and other fun activities with members of the MFD.

Congratulations to Menands Fire Dept. Lieutenant BRENDAN MURPHY for being honored by the Colonie Elks Club as the 2016 FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR.

Congratulations also go out to JOSEPHINE WELLS on receiving 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 MENANDS SENIORS celebrated NONAGENARIAN members (over 90 years young) with a special luncheon. There were 21 members celebrated with ages ranging from 90 – 102. How awesome is that?

The MENANDS PUBLIC LIBRARY, in conjunction with CAPITAL REGION EAT SMART NEW YORK PROGRAM, will be a collection center for NOURISH YOUR NEIGHBOR FOOD DRIVE. They will be collecting “healthy” food items through the end of this year.
Together with MENANDS SCHOOL, the MENANDS POLICE DEPT. hosted a meet and greet for the Village youth to get acquainted with the Officers of the MPD. There were tours of the police station, vehicles and equipment and a chance for the kids to talk with the officers about their duties and ask questions. Food and beverages were supplied (Thank you to Steve Boulet and Bill Nevins for taking care of that). Also, the
ALBANY COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPT. was there to print identification cards for each of the kids.  Thank you to all who organized and helped with this event.

Work has been completed on Louis Avenue with drainage improvements.
The pipe lining and manhole rehabilitation on Simmons Lane sanitary sewer line is completed. Having a video recording done on the sewer line, cracks were observed in the line. This resulted in a significant amount of clean storm water entering the system, increasing the costs on sewer charges to the Village. Additional recordings are
scheduled in the next couple of weeks to check other areas of the main sewer line.
Upgrades to the Wards Pump Station are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

The NYS DOT Broadway Road Diet has been completed. Broadway was paved, lanes reduced, side walks installed and with a combined effort of the Village and Town of Colonie, additional lighting was added or increased near Village One Apartments. DOT installed a cross walk and flashing lights in this area to provide a safer environment for pedestrians crossing Broadway.

The 2016 paving projects are completed. This season we paved Louis Avenue, Sky Hollow Drive, MacAffer Drive and Momrow Terrace. We are also paving the driveway to the VRB Pump Station and High Service Reservoir. Paving is an ongoing process and more streets will be budgeted for next season.

The semi-annual business breakfast was held in October. This is a great opportunity for the Village to share what is happening and for businesses to meet each other and network. We had more new faces in the crowd and thank POPPY’S PLACE for catering an awesome breakfast.

Work on the exterior of the Finishers Trade Institute building has continued, including a beautiful new facade. AAA has also renovated the exterior of their building, with new siding and paint. It looks great.

Special thanks to Village Gardener Dianne MacFarland, Bill Giering, DPW and Esposito’s for the spectacular fall display in front of True Value. Each year it gets bigger and better.
Congratulations to the winners of the Grow Menands Contest. Joyce O’Brien was selected by the committee to receive the award for residential landscape, showcasing her beautiful hydrangea bushes and Dianne MacFarland received the business award for the wonderful job she does year round with floral displays around the Village.

The Albany Lofts at One Bway (former Albany International) are set to have their ribbon cutting in early December. The apartments are filling up quickly as they become available. Special thanks to Lyle Darmetko and Paul Reuss from our Building Dept. for their commitment to this project and seeing that deadlines were met. Also, to the MPD, MFD and DPW for their efforts in ensuring the safety of the occupants, focusing on
fire and life safety issues, as well as access. I am very grateful to all who supported this project and played a role in one way or another. The Lofts are a great use of this industrial building, maintaining the character of both the beautiful building and grounds that has been a part of Menands for so many years.

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society has started construction of their new state of the art facility. Demolition is completed and the outer shell of the building should be in place by the end of the year, allowing work to continue on the inside throughout the Winter. This is another great project in Menands and we are thankful for the services provided by the MHHS and for deciding that staying in Menands was the best choice for their new facility.

As I am writing this I am thinking I can’t believe all of this happened in such a short amount of time. But we are fortunate to have year round activities in Menands and I am proud to highlight them.

Until next time,
Mayor Meg