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Horicon retiree volunteers to oversee area construction projects

Harry Balz hailed for saving taxpayers money

Harry Balz of Adirondack, 78 — volunteer overseer of various construction projects in northern Warren County — watches as workmen place and set granite memorials June 15 on the soon-to-be-completed Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the Chester Municipal Center. Balz has been hailed for his work in assuring top quality construction work on many municipal projects, and saving taxpayers a lot of money in the process. The Chester Veterans Memorial Plaza is to be dedicated in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday July 7.

Harry Balz of Adirondack, 78 — volunteer overseer of various construction projects in northern Warren County — watches as workmen place and set granite memorials June 15 on the soon-to-be-completed Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the Chester Municipal Center. Balz has been hailed for his work in assuring top quality construction work on many municipal projects, and saving taxpayers a lot of money in the process. The Chester Veterans Memorial Plaza is to be dedicated in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday July 7. Photo by Thom Randall.

— During this time, Balz was serving as member of the regional BOCES Board of Education, during which time he served as North Warren School District’s construction consultant for $1 per year.

In this role, he oversaw major upgrades and alterations to the North Warren campus, including the district’s wastewater treatment plant. His work included preparing specifications for the demolition of the old Horicon school.

Future work lined up for Balz includes the installation of a standby generator for North Warren Central schools, as well as soundproofing and roof work.

Even the design and construction of the fountain in the middle of the Mill Pond at Brant Lake was overseen by Balz, who serves on the Town of Horicon Planning Board.

In these various projects, he’s been preparing bid specifications, reviewing bids, scrutinizing change orders, as well as overseeing the work.

Prompted with a passion for his career, he’s arranged field trips for area pre-engineering students to visit state Department of Transportation construction projects. Balz sets these up with a mission to ignite a similar work dedication in their lives, he said.

Before Balz retired, he served on the planning board in his hometown, Rockville Centre, where he had been the fire chief for five years. Balz has been active in fire service for a total of 60 years.

Late last week, Balz revealed his motivation in volunteering to oversee various projects in northern Warren County.

”I just love construction work — I just can’t get enough of it,” he said. “My wife keeps asking me when I’m going to retire.”

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