MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Tony Morris, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane.
GUESTS (1): David Harris.
• PAUL HARRIS POINTS: The District has announced a program to help Rotarians achieve Paul Harris Fellow status (or adding PH levels +1, +2, etc.) by contributing $250 to the Rotary Foundation. The District then will add 750 District Donation Points to that payment to reach the 1,000 dollars/points needed for each PH level. All individuals need to do is make the $250 donation no later than May 30 (click here to download the Foundation donation form) then notify District Governor Rich Griesche (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you have done so, and he will take it from there.
• SCHOLARSHIP VISITORS: Terry Brewer continues to work on lining up Zoom visits by our three SRC Rotary Scholarships recipients from Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools. We probably will have their visits divided between the June 10 and 17 meetings.
• IN-PERSON MEETING: Members who are fully vaccinated and plan to attend our first in-person meeting of the 2020-21 Rotary Year — 6 p.m. (note the earlier meeting time) Thursday, June 3, at Roberto Martinez’s residence — are asked to email Roberto (email@example.com) or co-host Jim Leyhane (firstname.lastname@example.org) NO LATER THAN TUESDAY, JUNE 1, so they have an accurate headcount for ordering food.
• SPEAKER DAVID HARRIS: Our speaker was the Schodack Town Supervisor, now in his second and final term in office. He provided a rundown of how the town has been conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by an update on commercial development in the town.
Much of new and proposed business expansion is concentrated on the Route 9 corridor which, he noted, “Is commercial, always has been commercial, and always will be commercial.” He listed such new businesses as several Stewart’s Shops locations, a new specialty butcher shop, the latest expansion of the Curtis Lumber venue, and the proposed expansion of Amazon’s presence which would add about 500 jobs to its current 1,100-person local workforce.
David pointed out that Amazon is helping pay for expansion and upgrades of water and sewer lines in the area, and noted that other companies and developers would be following suit. “Infrastructure is what draws businesses, and businesses are the main contributor to the town tax base,” he said, with builder-supported infrastructure making it possible to attract still more businesses.
Among other topics, he talked about
• Adding two police offers to the force, and posting an officer on the Empire State Trail, probably on weekends. Amazon contributed a police bike to that effort, which will be utilized by the force’s first female officer, hired several months ago by Chief John Horrigan.
• Improving water quality and availability in various parts of the town. In particular, the area around Nassau Lake will become a water district and the town is working with state and federal representatives to get General Electric to pay for a water system necessitated by continued drainage from the old, controversial Dewey Loeffel landfill.
• NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Christian Multunas, a doctoral candidate in nanotechnology at RPI, 7 p.m. via Zoom.