Sidewalks, comp plan targets for Bethlehem in 2013

Clarkson lays out vision in State of the Town

Supervisor John Clarkson delivers his second State of the Town address at Bethlehem Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Supervisor John Clarkson delivers his second State of the Town address at Bethlehem Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— The plan calls for improvements from Delmar’s Four Corners down to Elsmere Avenue. There could also be future plans to develop all the way to the City of Albany line through a public/private partnership and the use of volunteer help.

Clarkson also proposed bonding to install sidewalks along Feura Bush Road, as development has increased in that area.

“This is going to be the new Delmar and we should make improvement there to service those neighborhoods,” Clarkson said.

The Delaware Avenue enhancement project is expected to cost about $1.7 million. The sidewalks along Feura Bush Road may be done in two phases, with the first phase leading to Glenmont Plaza. That portion of the project is estimated to cost $640,000.

To stimulate economic growth, Clarkson proposed hiring a part-time employee to work with the town’s Director of Economic Development and Planning, Michael Morelli, and partner with the town’s Industrial Development Agency.

“We need to do a better job assuring the town and the IDA are aligned,” he said, also suggesting a Town Board member be placed on the IDA board.

Lastly, after announcing the retirement of Highway Superintendent Gregg Sagendorph, Clarkson said he would like to see the position of highway superintendent be appointed, not elected. Proposals to end public elections for several town offices were before the town in 2011 after being pitched by a committee Clarkson was a key member of, but the idea never found traction.

“I knew this before becoming supervisor and after, that putting a town department head up for election that, it can cause pressure that I don’t think are good for a town manager,” said Clarkson.

Because of the weekday morning timing, only two Town Board members, Bill Reinhardt and Kyle Kotary, were able to attend the address.

Kotary said he agreed with Clarkson’s assessment of the town’s successes and looks forward to working with him in 2013 on the priorities outlined.

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