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City & Town with Don Kasprzak and Bernie Bassett

Bernie Bassett, Town Supervisor:

As usual, it has been another very busy month in the town of Plattsburgh. I always feel it is important to be "right out straight" as we say in the North Country and we have been "right out straight!"

It has been another month with new business and plans for construction that continue to move forward building our tax base and creating new jobs. I was pleased to join in the celebration for the first US Air flight out of the Plattsburgh International Airport. I firmly believe the larger plane with more frequent flights to and from our airport will bring more opportunity for all of us.

This month, we will have public hearings and pass a new local law to restrict the use of high-powered rifles on Cumberland Head. Over the past few years, the town board and I have been approached a number of times to address this issue. An ever-expanding population on the "Head," the new Connector Road that dissects the peninsula as well as an elementary school is sufficient for me to acknowledge it was time to take action. Hunting will be allowed, but the discharge of a high-powered rifle will not.

We have also addressed the organization of our ambulance service in the town. It is our goal to create a new town-wide single district that will have the same tax rate and service for all town residents. The existing service providers are excellent, but there have been contract issues, which were also addressed by the Comptroller's Office, that will be resolved with a new RFP.

The city's effort to proceed with their proposal to reactivate the sludge treatment plant off Rugar Street is a topic that will occupy my attention until it is resolved. The past history of that project is one with many concerns. Most important, though, is the greater concern businesses and residents, in both the city and town, should not be subject to such a proposal. I am not convinced the latest design will bring any different end result than what the former process did. That region has great economic value and sludge treatment is not the right use for the property. The city's motives are much more complex than simple sludge treatment and will not go without my commitment to preserve town property, the future economic growth of that region and the health and well-being of our residents.

Best wishes to each of you for a safe and enjoyable summer. Please keep in mind the many visitors to our region and, as you travel about, let's give them a warm North Country welcome!

Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.

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