Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh city councilors consider tax cap override
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh held a public hearing Thursday night to discuss exceeding the state-mandated tax cap — and then they passed the 2018 budget.

Plattsburgh Fire Department conducts night ladder truck training
Pat Bradley/WAMC

If you passed by SUNY Plattsburgh’s administration building Tuesday just after nightfall, you would have seen Plattsburgh Fire Department crews at the building.  They were not responding to an emergency but rather conducting night training with their new ladder truck. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

One of the largest annual events in Plattsburgh begins Thursday. The Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration starts with memorial ceremonies and features a number of reenactments.

John Linney (left) speaks to Plattsburgh mayor and city councilors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s a time of change in Plattsburgh city government. Thursday evening, officials held four back-to-back public hearings on charter change proposals to eliminate several city departments.  Councilors heard a mix of harsh criticism and strong support as they considered the procedural move.

Luke Cyphers addresses Plattsburgh City Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last week, Plattsburgh city leaders approved eliminating four departments in an attempt to save more than a million dollars in the 2018 budget.  During this week’s meeting, the Common Council approved public hearings on city charter changes to remove those departments.

A restored World War II B-17 bomber is making week-long stops in Plattsburgh and Albany during a 50-city tour across the U.S. and Canada.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The New York state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments issued its review of the city of Plattsburgh’s finances on Thursday. It offers several recommendations to reverse the city’s fiscal downturn.

From left: Strand Center's Karen Dispo-De Boos with Outside Arts' Amy Guglielmo and Julia Devine
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh are working to make the downtown center more appealing to tourists. One of the newest initiatives got a boost recently when the Sunrise Rotary announced it will sponsor a plan to create an Arts Walk in the center city.

Police have arrested two individuals accused of manufacturing illegal methamphetamines at a Plattsburgh home. 

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

New York’s lieutenant governor was in Plattsburgh last week for what Mayor Colin Read described as the time to end the concepts phase and begin implementation of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that an old gas station will be removed within a few weeks and public interaction will now focus on implementation of redevelopment plans.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in Plattsburgh 5-25-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Plattsburgh this afternoon to announce the final projects that have been approved for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to the city last summer.

Mayor Colin Read (left) and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau Director of Tourism Kristy Kennedy
City of Plattsburgh

Officials in Plattsburgh have announced a new summer event to be held at the city beach in conjunction with professional fishing tournaments on Lake Champlain.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

First-term Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read campaigned on the need for the city to move away from annual one-time budgeting to a long-term fiscal planning process to stabilize finances.  He has already started the 2018 budget process, working with the city council to create a five-year fiscal plan.  Late last week he announced that the city has a $2 million structural deficit that must be addressed.  He says  it’s a situation that’s been  building for years.

A pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply company in Plattsburgh has received a $1 billion contract over five years that will allow it to expand employees and infrastructure.

Despite inclement weather, nearly a hundred officials and business leaders from across the North Country gathered in Plattsburgh this morning to hear addresses on the state of the town and city of Plattsburgh and Clinton County.

Plattsburgh City Council holds special session 1-10-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors held a special session Tuesday evening to consider amendments to the proposed city budget as they try to complete the fiscal plan by Saturday’s deadline.

Mayor James Calnon
Calnon for Mayor/Facebook

James Calnon has served in Plattsburgh city leadership positions since 2007 when he was appointed to the common council by then-Republican Mayor Donald Kasprzak.  Calnon, who is an independent with Republican endorsement, was elected mayor in 2013.  He lost his re-election bid this year to political newcomer Democrat Colin Read.  As he serves his last days in office, Calnon says he and the city are ready for the transition.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh’s long-time police chief announced recently that he will retire in January.  Desmond Racicot has been with the department since 1989, serving as chief for the last 14 years.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he hadn’t planned to retire but a new opportunity arose.

Plattsburgh City Council 12/28/16
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors received the mayor’s proposed budget in October and must finalize the fiscal plan by mid-January.  The six-member board is still considering amendments as they try to lower a tax levy that at one point looked like it could be as high as 22 percent. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the last meeting of 2016 last night.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

In November, incumbent Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon was defeated in his re-election bid by Democrat Colin Read.  Calnon did not formally concede until absentee ballots were counted on November 21st.  The final result determined that Read had actually increased his lead by 84 votes, solidifying his win.  Mayor-elect Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that was a surprise, and he’s now deeply involved in transitioning the administration.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Candidates' Facebook pages

The city of Plattsburgh will have a new mayor in January.  Local businessman and SUNY Plattsburgh Professor of Economics Colin Read won election to Plattsburgh’s top office, unseating incumbent Independent Republican-endorsed James Calnon. But the current officeholder doesn’t plan to concede until all the absentee ballots are counted.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Candidates' Facebook pages

With Election Day less than a week away, we take a look at the two candidates for mayor of Plattsburgh. While the candidates’ styles are different, both are focused on the city’s fiscal stability.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Less than two weeks before Election Day, the candidates for mayor of Plattsburgh debated Wednesday night.

Kate Collignon presents DRI report to local planning committee
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Local Planning Committee coordinating the strategy for Plattsburgh’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant heard an update from the state’s consulting team earlier this week.

Norsk Titanium CEO Warren Boley speaks at Chamber luncheon
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh has been chosen to host the world’s first industrial scale high-technology manufacturing plant for titanium aerospace components.  The head of Norsk Titanium met with business leaders from the region Monday to talk about the state-of-the-art technology and the $1 billion investment in a new manufacturing plant and training facility at the old Clinton County Airport.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The mayor of Plattsburgh has released his 2017 budget proposal.  While the initial outline is over a million dollars in the red, city leaders say they’re optimistic they can bring the fiscal plan in line with the state tax cap.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Candidates' Facebook pages

The two candidates running for mayor of Plattsburgh met recently in a rancorous debate. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was a panelist and reports there was no love lost between the duo during their first debate, which aired on Mountain Lake PBS.

Plattsburgh was one of 10 communities statewide to win $10 million under the governor’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  This afternoon, the local planning committee held an organizational meeting with the consulting team, state officials and the public to kick off the planning process.

Plattsburgh city marina, July 2016
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The city of Plattsburgh is working on expanding its marina on the Lake Champlain waterfront.  The Common Council addressed two items on its agenda Thursday night that will move the plans forward.

Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman
Michael Cashman for Plattsburgh

Two mausoleums in the towns of Plattsburgh and Ellenburg that had been operated by the same nonprofit company ended up under state receivership in 2015 after reports of severe neglect and abandonment.  The state receivership of Whispering Maples Memorial Gardens will be transferred to the two towns at the end of the month.  Repair costs alone are estimated at $146,000.  Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman plans to join his Ellenburg counterpart next week in Albany to meet with officials.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief that state officials have failed to recognize the emotional fallout Whispering Maples has caused.  “I’m quite upset by the fact that New York State doesn’t take the time to understand the impact  that it has on the local level.”

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