MILTON — On Oct. 8 John Munter Sr. of Munter Enterprises, a family owned construction company, purchased the Camp Boyhaven property from Twin Rivers Council for the asking price of $1 Million. Munter bought the property to give the town of Milton and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) time to assure the property will remain in public ownership.
“John (Munter) came to us and met our criteria for the sale. It was very important for us to maintain green space with the property, so he met that criteria,” said Mark Switzer, CEO of Twin Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
“Several groups were interested but our number one criteria was to maintain green space with the property,” he added.
The Boy Scouts are endowing all of the proceeds from the sale, and interest off the endowment will help maintain their other properties. Munter has been interested in the property since the Town of Milton failed to meet the closing deadline of May 11 set by the Twin Rivers Council.
Munter says he has no plans in the meantime for the property and said that it is not yet open to the public, although conversations have been had between the Milton town Supervisor, Scott Ostrander, over the last month.
“I knew that he was interested in purchasing the property a month or two ago about what would be the town’s interest. I said lets do it the right way and we’ll set up a committee, we’ll get together and we’ll figure out costs, what its going to cost the town and they can get back to me and the board and it will have to go to a permissive referendum, then we’ll go from there,” Ostrander said.
Munter also said that he has had conversations with the DEC. “I feel it’d be nice if the town at least took a portion of this property and maybe a balance of it could pin point it towards DEC,” Munter said.
Ostrander estimates the acreage that the town could potentially own would be roughly 30 to 40 acres of the 297-acre property.
“It’s mixed emotions, there’s a lot of families and a lot of scouts that enjoyed the property over the years and so we’re sad that its no longer a scout camp but looking towards the future, it really establishes a great opportunity for the council to provide for our new families,” Switzer said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Impressions of Saratoga is celebrating 40 years in business on Oct. 13. with raffles, giveaways and specials all day. The anniversary celebration will begin at noon and end at 5 p.m. Known as “the everything Saratoga store,” Impressions of Saratoga has been in business since 1978. Now patrons can find a variety of Saratoga and equine themed gifts but it didn’t start out that way. Owners Dave and Marianne Barker had originally owned a t-shirt printing business in Cobleskill.
“Mare (Marianne) wanted to move to Saratoga because she was a big fan of horses and wanted to be in this area. So Dave came here for a sales call and they ended up renting a space,” Maddy Zanetti said. Zanetti owns Impressions and The Dark Horse Mercantile with Marianne and Dave Barker.
The store was first located at 388 Broadway where New Char Koon, a Thai and Chinese restaurant, is currently. However, Impressions of Saratoga has been at its current location, 368 Broadway, since 1986.
“It was a screen printing t-shirt shop and then as you have a t-shirt shop, you start introducing things like mugs, then a few gift items and then it’s just grown. Now, we don’t even print our own t-shirts... We are strictly a retail gift store,” she added.
The Dark Horse Mercantile opened in June but is celebrating a ribbon cutting and grand opening on Oct. 12 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary celebration. Located at 445 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, the store features a full range of high quality gifts, sportswear, memorabilia and items for the home branded with the Dark Horse logo. The phrase “The Dark Horse” was coined in 1831 by Benjamin Disraeli in his book called “The Young Duke” and is often used in politics, sports and life. The phrase especially rings true to the history of Saratoga as it is known as the “the Graveyard of Champions.” Saratoga is the site where the legendary racehorse Man o’ War was defeated by an underdog named Upset in 1919.
The Grand opening will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an appearance by Upset the mini Dark Horse. A wine tasting with Old Tavern Farm Winery will begin at 5 p.m. along with raffles and giveaways as well.
BALLSTON SPA — An audit covering the financial condition of the Village of Ballston Spa from June 2014 to May 2018 has been released. Financial condition audits are conducted based on the Office of New York State Comptroller’s (OSC) risk assessment process, which also included a request from a local official. They are used to determine whether the treasurer maintained adequate accounting records and that the Board effectively monitored the village’s financial condition.
On Sept. 6 2018 it was announced that the Village Treasurer, Christopher Hickey, resigned. Final audit reports are public documents. The last audit was conducted in 2012 and covered June 2009 through May 2011.
Key findings in the report note that: 1) The Treasurer did not maintain accurate accounting records and failed to file required annual financial reports for the last four fiscal years. 2) The Board did not adequately monitor the village’s financial condition. 3) The general fund’s unrestricted fund balance decreased from $213,327 as of fiscal year-end 2014 to $30,487 as of fiscal year- end 2018.
According to a spokesman for State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, upon receiving the audit, village officials have 90 days to respond and develop what is called a “corrective action plan.” This plan will outline how they will address the recommendations contained in the audit. Village of Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano responded in a letter to the OSC on Sept. 24 and said “The village will implement the recommendations contained in the Financial Condition Report of Examination and will submit a Corrective Action Plan within 90 days.”
It is noted that audits are advisory in nature and the OSC cannot force the village to implement corrective measures.
“Many of the issues go hand- in-hand. Without accurately monitoring the village’s finances, the situation has continued to deteriorate. The rapid decrease in fund balance, the money used to offset revenue shortfalls, is notable because if this money were to dry up, the village will need to reduce its expenditures (cut services, layoffs) or increase taxes in order to balance its budget,” the spokesperson said.
“The problem with this budget practice is that the village is using a non-recurring revenue source to pay for recurring expenses. At some point, the fund balance is going to run out,” he added. The OSC recommends that the village should 1) maintain adequate accounting records in a timely manner. 2) Monitor the village’s financial condition and ensure the Treasurer files timely financial reports. 3) Develop a plan to address the general funds declining fund balance and the village’s overall financial condition.
The village’s deputy treasurer, internal control officer, personnel officer, and compliance officer, Darryl Purinton resigned as well, from all of those titles except internal controls officer. “Our office is questioning the value of this position given the audit findings,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re not going to look back we’re just going to look forward and do what we need to do to get things headed in the right direction,” Mayor John Romano said and adds that he plans on addressing village resident’s concerns.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Oct. 11 Jeff and Heath Ames, owners, Cantina Restaurant were awarded with this year’s Outstanding Parents Award at the Dish It Out benefit for the Capital Region office of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The event took place at Prime at Saratoga National located at 458 Union Ave. in Saratoga Springs. The award recognizes parents who have exhibited a significant impact on the safety and well being of children in the Capital Region.
With Saratoga Hospital Foundation, the Ames founded the Cantina Kids Fun Run 11 years ago to promote healthy families and to raise funds for pediatric emergency services. Over the years, the Cantina Kids Fun Run has raised nearly $490,000, funds that have provided life-saving training and equipment specific to pediatric needs for Saratoga Hospital’s Emergency Department.
The presentation took place at the Dish It Out Celebrity Chef Challenge, the annual NCMEC fundraiser where guests voted for the best dishes from 10 participating restaurants. This year’s included, Chianti II Ristorante, Lake Ridge, Mama Mia’s, Max London’s, Osteria Danny, Prime at Saratoga National, Sperry’s, Sushi Thai Garden and Yono’s. Auction items this year included one week in Anna Maria Island, FL, a master spa hot tub from Concord Pools, four Yankee tickets, a Nintendo Switch and an Oculus Go virtual reality headset.
The Capital Region office of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was opened in the summer of 2011 following three years of local fundraising and volunteer efforts. The office serves the children, families and professionals of the 11 counties of the Capital Region: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington counties. The NCMEC’s mission is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation, including from online predators; help find missing children; and train law enforcement professionals who serve victims of abduction and sexual exploitation and their families.
For these counties, the office providesfreeabductionandsexual exploitation prevention education programs for parents, children, law enforcement and other professionals; Netsmartz Internet and Real World safety education programs for children (grades K - 12) and parents, (including state-of-the-art “train the trainer” program for educators); and expert training for law enforcement and professionals serving missing and sexually exploited children and their families.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Oct. 8 Saratoga Hospital announced that the providers at Myrtle Street Obstetrics and Gynecology have joined Saratoga Hospital Medical Group. The practice has also been renamed to reflect the new relationship with Saratoga Hospital. The practice is now Saratoga OB/ GYN at Myrtle Street, an affiliate of Saratoga Hospital. The two practice locations have not changed; the current staff will be retained. Saratoga OB/GYN at Myrtle Street is the first OB/ GYN providers to join Saratoga Hospital Medical Group.
“We are delighted to welcome our colleagues to the hospital’s multi-specialty group,” said David M. Mastrianni, MD, senior vice president of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group.
“This practice has been providing outstanding women’s health services to the greater Saratoga community for more than 40 years. Now, as part of our multi-specialty group, we can provide a higher level of coordinated care for all of our patients, improved access to care, and realize an enhanced sharing of best practices, administrative resources, and operational efficiencies,” he added.
Saratoga Hospital anticipates adding providers to the practice, as well as establishing a greater degree of collaboration with the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Midwifery and Women’s Health Services practice located in Wilton. Saratoga OB/GYN at Myrtle Street is the latest addition to Saratoga Hospital’s growing commitment to women’s health across a broad range of programs and services in the greater Saratoga community. This commitment includes the medical group’s Midwifery practice and the Women’s Primary Care practice, the Saratoga Center for Breast Care and Women’s Imaging services on the Wilton campus, as well as a wide range of community education programs and support groups.
“This is an exciting new chapter in how we work together with Saratoga Hospital, creating new opportunities for our patients and practitioners,” said Amy Knoeller, MD. Knoeller is Doctor at Saratoga OB/GYN at Myrtle Street.
“Combining our strengths creates a new depth of services and expertise to deliver better continuity of personalized, compassionate women’s healthcare,” she added.
Saratoga OB/GYN at Myrtle Street remains at 59 Myrtle Street in Saratoga Springs, with an office also located at 2105 Ellsworth Boulevard in Malta. For more information, visit SaratogaOBGYN.org or SaratogaHospital.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Gibson and Dehn is a fragrance line of candles and diffusers that is inspired by locations throughout Saratoga Springs. Proprietor and founder Michael Dehn Breault is fifth generation ‘Dehn’ and spent his childhood summers in Saratoga andworking with his grandparents at Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts. Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts is a staple of Saratoga having been in business for over 120 years.
A scent with the name Beekman Street has a floral scent with notes of Peony and Hyacinth because it’s the site of Dehn’s family greenhouses. Another fragrance called Féte with a champagne and sorbet scent is named after the floral féte parades held in Downtown Saratoga since the 1890s. While an ocean scent candle called Coastline is inspired by the many regattas held at Saratoga Lake. A new line of candles and diffusers, for the holidays, called Norway Spruce is reminiscent of the decorations by Dehn’s Flowers and gifts that fill downtown during the Christmas season and the large trees that are placed outside the Adirondack Trust Company on Broadway.
“So every fragrance that we launched, we made sure that it really had a specific tie back to the heritage of Saratoga. Then with each of the fragrances that sells, they’re all inspired by botanicals in some way, some are very tied to things that would have been grown in the greenhouse and some are a bit even more far reaching,” Breault said.
“I’ve always been incredibly proud of what the family has done and my background is in natural resources and landscape design;and flowers, the scents and fragrance has always been something that’s been inspiring to me. I’ve had a couple different companies so as an entrepreneur... I started thinking about how we leverage our history and come forward with something that I’m very passionate. That’s when we decided to launch Gibson and Dehn as a retail fragrance brand,” he added.
Breault says while growing up in Saratoga, there was always a lot to see, including nature and the arts. He loves the cultured city life and small town feel Saratoga has to offer. He still makes sure to visit Saratoga a few times a year to gain inspiration from the original greenhouse as he now lives in New York City and his cousin now runs Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts. He says he gets his entrepreneurial character from his grandfather and learned “What it really takes to create something that has value, it’s as simple as planting a seed which turns in to a flower.”
Gibson and Dehn officially launched in 2017 and already sell the product in over 150 locations nationally. Those who live locally can buy these products at Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts or online at Neimanmarcus.com.
“I would be so proud if five or six years from now people knew Gibson andDehnasahouseholdname...I think it’s a really wonderful give back to them (his grandparents).... So everyone could know their name and what they accomplished back in their day,that would make me very happy," Breault said.
Photos by SuperSource Media LLC.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest took place on Sept. 30, where giant pumpkin growers from all over the Northeast compete to find the biggest pumpkin of the year. The heaviest pumpkin was a whopping 1,825 pounds from Brushton, NY and took home the first place price of $2,000.
BALLSTON SPA — On Sept. 29 the Saratoga County Sherriff’s office received a 911 call reporting that a 9-year-old boy with autism in Stillwater was missing. After a search that lasted a little over an hour, the boy, who is not being named, was found using Project Lifesaver technology and returned to his family.
Project Lifesaver is a radio transmitter placed on the wrist or ankle of individuals with special needs that emits an individualized frequency signal. If the person goes missing, the caregiver must notify the trained agency and they will respond to the individual’s location.
“It’s definitely a nice program to have. A lot of the families we talk to have comfort in knowing that there’s equipment out there to help locate their child,” Deputy Jason Lang of the Saratoga County Sherriff’s office said. Lang leads the Project Lifesaver program in Saratoga County.
According to Lang, the Project Lifesaver transmitter is waterproof and does not need to be charged, so it never comes off. Lang and his trained unit also visit the families who use Project Lifesaver technology every 60 days to change the battery of the equipment and to verify that it is working correctly.
“A lot of them are happy to know that its something that’s almost permanently on their
child; that doesn’t need to be charged, doesn’t need to come off and provides them a lot of relief,” he added.
Right now, Saratoga County has over 50 clients that use Project Lifesaver technology. Lang says it’s one of the largest programs in the state. There have been others in the county located using Project Lifesaver technology; one adult was found just in July of 2017. According to Lang the cost to enroll a loved one in Project Lifesaver is little to none, but prices vary based on location. However,
there are some factors that affect the individual’s eligibility to enroll. Lang says that the user must have close to 24/7 hours with a caregiver, cannot drive and cannot have long hours throughout the day where they are alone. He adds that children are usually all eligible.
Project Lifesaver was introduced to the Saratoga County Sherriff ’s office in 2015, the same year it was granted funding by the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) partnership with the New York State Missing
Person’s Clearinghouse. The Missing Person’s Clearinghouse is responsible for providing assistance to law enforcement agencies handling cases involving children, college students and vulnerable adults who have gone missing.
If you have a family member with autism, Alzheimers, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions and are concerned they may wander, contact the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office at 518-944-6288 or email Jason Lang at jlang@ saratogacountyny.gov
BALLSTON SPA — With the help of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Garth Ellms, proprietor of Ellms Family Farm, plans to turn 80 acres of Farmland into an agri- tainment destination called The Saratoga Farm Hub. Ellms acquired the property located at 284 Middleline Rd. in Ballston Spa on June 1 of this year. Plans include a commercial kitchen, small parcels of land that farmers can lease, an event space, a brewery, a winery, farmers’ market and overnight glamping (glamorous camping).
While conversations have been had between Ellms, Marty Vanags and the Town of Ballston’s Planning Department, nothing formal has been done. Ellms’ projects the true launch date for the project will be in May or June of 2020. For now, a flyer for the project reads: “The Saratoga Farm Hub is the ideal cohesive community: a synergistic and innovative farmtopia supporting an agricultural and social mission for the greater good of growth and development of the land, local businesses and the communities surrounding them.”
“Through a series of conversations that the Saratoga Prosperity Partnership, they started the conversation regardingsome needs after multiple surveys... That’s where, to an extent, this was born. It was a partial idea from them and the rest was kind of dreamed up by Kimmy Jaski and myself,” Ellms said.
“We’re just trying to incubate product that is locally grown and hope that over time to be able to facilitate those businesses’ needs. You know marketing, accounting, whatever and watch it grow,” he added.
For the commercial kitchen, Ellms plans to rent the space to local producers by the hour for as long as they needed to create some sort of food product. Ellms hope that the farm leased plots will encourage producers to use the planned to start some sort of business with what is grown. The plots will range in size from a half an acre to five acres.
“We did a Feasibility study of whether or not a community kitchen would work in Saratoga County... We found that there is a need for that kind of space and so when Garth came to us and said he’s buying this property and he’s looking for what kind of opportunities could exist there, this was one of the things we suggested to him,” said Marty Vanags, President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership.
To pay for this venture the Saratoga Partnership helped Ellms fill out a Consolidated Funding Application, which they will find out about in late November or early December.
“We’re going to look at other opportunities whether other grants and potentially other tax incentives because this will be a job producer,” Vanags said.
The two anticipate that the project will produce over 100 jobs once it is completed. Over time, both Vanags and Ellms hope even more jobs will be created from the small businesses that will grow from the commercial kitchen and farmland plots.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Sept. 26 Key Capture Energy LLC, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the KCE NY 1 facility. The KCE NY 1 facility is a 20 megawatt (MW) utility-scale battery storage project, located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The Groundbreaking took place at 30 Substation Rd. in Saratoga Springs.
The project is the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in New York State and supports Governor Cuomo’s commitment for the state to reach 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025. In addition to enabling the creation of 25 construction jobs and nine full-time positions, the facility will provide clean energy to enhance power grid performance and reliability, addressing the needs of advanced technology companies and promoting further economic and job growth in Saratoga County.
“We are glad to initiate construction of our KCE NY 1 project,” said Dan Fitzgerald, Chief Development Officer of Key Capture Energy.
“We are fully committed to supporting the Governor’s vision for an aggressive Clean Energy Standard, as well as to bringing local jobs and energy storage solutions to New York State, starting right here in Saratoga County. We thank the Town of Stillwater, Saratoga County, Luther Forest Technology Campus, the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, the Mechanicville- Stillwater Industrial Development Agency, NYISO, and NYSEG for their support and collaboration to help move this important project forward,” he added.
As previously reported, according to Fitzgerald, the project will be completely built and operational by the end of January in 2019 and is private equity backed. Fitzgerald also noted that the installation at Luther Forest will be situated behind natural land rises and tucked away behind trees so it will not be visible to the naked eye.
Key Capture Energy worked with the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, the county’s designated economic development agency, to secure incentives to enable the project to move forward. Key Capture Energy is an energy storage development company focused on becoming the leading east- coast independent developer for utility-scale battery storage projects being responsive to needs of an intermittent grid. Key Capture Energy, headquartered in Albany, identifies opportune locations, sites, develops, deploys and operates energy storage systems.
Saratoga Partnership President Marty Vanags said, “We congratulate Key Capture Energy as it launches construction of this next-generation facility, which represents a significant investment in the economic, energy, and environmental future of Saratoga County. We are delighted to have assisted the company in advancing this important clean-energy project, and especially pleased to be leading the first development on the Luther Forest Technology Campus since GlobalFoundries.”