B y Lee Tugas
Securing private and public monies, and consolidating services, were the two main topics at a recent meeting of Whitehall town and village officials and Laura Oswald, the new economic director for Washington County.
Meeting with the new director were town Supervisor George Armstrong and Councilwoman Stephanie Safka; village Mayor Peter Telisky and Trustee Marge Mohn; and Jim Aiken, representing the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce.
Armstrong said the meeting focused on consolidating services and securing monies.
“Laura has experience in directing people, based on what they want, in securing both private and public monies.”
This did not mean, however, that either the town or village of Whitehall was severing its connection with Shelter Planning and Development Inc. of Queensbury, which has been the pivotal agent in seeking state grants, so far unsuccessfully, for the village, as it continually upgrades its aged sewer or water lines.
Armstrong said he envisioned that Oswald would work in the future with Shelter Planning for the benefit of both town and village.
Armstrong said that Oswald would be back in a month to take a closer look at both town and village.
“She will be returning for a full-blown tour of the village and town. She wants to take an inventory of our businesses, bridges, roads, and government buildings.”
As an example of consolidated services, Armstrong said that next year the salt shed at the town garage would be shared by both town and village, which means both town and village highway workers would “only need to use one loader.”
Oswald and the town and village officials also talked, in broad terms, about other services that might be consolidated, such as police services and the four levels of highway departments serving Whitehall –– state, county, town and village.
Armstrong said Oswald’s “full-blown tour” will probably take place in late March.