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Aviation Mall is partnering with the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce and ConfiData to offer the community and its residents an opportunity to drop off documents to be shredded for free! This event will take place on Saturday, September 16th, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM in the front east parking lot of Aviation Mall.

Participants can bring up to five boxes to shred (box size cannot exceed 24” x 12” x 10 ¼”), and items will be shredded on the spot in the mobile shred trucks. ConfiData can shred and recycle just about anything – junk mail, tax returns, checks, files, manila folders, or any documents containing personal information.

Please consider bringing a non-perishable food donation with your shred drop-off.  All food item donations will benefit the Open Door Mission, which exists to serve people at their point of need, cultivating personal growth and community sustainability – individuals who are homeless and low income.

The event is open to the public, and will occur rain or shine.

Binley Florist & Garden Center: “We are Here to Stay!”

Binley Florist & Garden Center is located at 773 Quaker Road… Several thoroughfares meet there, and these roads are some of the busiest roads in the Glens Falls/Queenbury area, handling thousands of cars a day. This location is prime real estate for a variety of businesses – including Binley Florist and Garden Center, which is under new ownership! Tami Fields, as the new owner, is working to carry on the traditions of the past and build new relationships… Binley’s is an institution in the world of plants, flowers, and floral design, having been in business for 130 years. Tami is looking forward to carrying that tradition into the future.

Tami may be new to the owner role at Binley’s, but the business is not new to her; Tami has worked at Binley’s since 2000. She came to the company as a sales clerk and floral designer and was named Floral Manager early in her career. 

Tami, along with her husband and son, are carrying on the traditions of Binley’s and building new relationships as they move forward. The property and the business were purchased from Wally Hirsch by Taco Bell… Field bought the business from Taco Bell, and leases the land from them: “I couldn’t see a 130-year old business go down the drain,” Tami explained… Initially, Tami had been concerned about working and negotiating with a business as big as Taco Bell, but has been inspired by their commitment to help her business grow and move forward: “Taco Bell has been wonderful! They are wonderful! They are my landlords. They have bent over backwards for us,” she said.

“I have had to downsize since we’ve taken over… We lease the retail sale space, but not the growing space. Our plan is that next year, we will go back to growing our geraniums… Our customers love geraniums. It is important for us to bring in inventory that our customers like. We will be operating on a smaller scale, but focusing on what has always been important to the customer base and community that Binley’s has built. That’s why we are here,” Tami said.

Binley’s has maintained open communication with their customers through Facebook: “We love our customers, and our community and look forward to the years ahead.” Tami said.

For more information, please visit binleyflowers.com

Registration is Open for Warren County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event 

Registration has opened for Warren County’s next household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 at Queensbury Highway Department – 742 Bay Road, Queensbury – from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

This event, which is overseen by the Warren County Department of Public Works, is open to Warren County residents that would like to safely dispose of hazardous household materials. These materials include cleaners, pesticides, other household chemicals, antifreeze, latex paint, and fluorescent light bulbs. There is no cost for the disposal of these items.  

There are items that will not be accepted by the Warren County event collection staff… Those items include gasoline, munitions, automotive oil, batteries, asbestos, pharmaceuticals, infectious waste, and tires.

Registration is required for this event, and is open to Warren County residents only. Registration can be completed online at warrencountyny.gov/residents/waste, by mail, or in person at Warren County DPW, 4028 Main Street Warrensburg N.Y., 12855, or by fax at (518) 623-2772.

Glens Falls Named ‘Safest City in U.S.’ For a Second Year By Rocket Mortgage

“Hometown USA” was just named the “Safest City in the U.S.” by Rocket Mortgage for the second year in a row! Rocket Mortgage ranked the fifteen safest cities in the United States, and Glens Falls came out on top for the second year running. To determine their findings, Rocket Mortgage used violent crime, property crime, and population data from the FBI’s 2019 crime report… The median home values were taken from https://www.neighborhoodscout.com, which features real estate analytics, and the median household income was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau statistics. 

Violent crime rate is composed of four offenses – murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. These are crimes that involve force or the threat of force… With a population of 124,339, the Glens Falls violent crime rate is listed as one.

Property crime rate includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of this type of crime is the taking of money and property without threat of force against victims… The property crime rate for Glens Falls was listed as seven.

The median household income was listed as $50,071… This number is reached by dividing income distribution into two equal parts – one half falls below the income level, and the other half is above. The median home price for Glens Falls was listed as $211,692… Roughly half of the homes in Glens Falls have sold for more than that price, and roughly half of the homes have sold for less than that price. 

Midland, Michigan was listed as the second-safest city in America, with a population of 82,943. Midland – according to this ranking – has a violent crime rate of three, property crime rate of seven, median household income of $62,625, and median home price of $207,130.

Glens Falls was joined by Kingston, New York – the only other New York city to be included on the list, coming in at #9. Located in Ulster County, Kingston is listed as having a population of 177,151, a violent crime rate of two, a property crime rate of 1,090.6, a median income of $51,299, and a median home price of $292,631. 

What Can The Southern Adirondack REALTORS® Inc. Do For You?

Buying and selling homes are major milestones in people’s lives… These are times of upheaval and change, which a range of emotion which can include stress. There are times in these major transactions when each party needs a mediator to help find the correct answer and move the transaction forward. There are times when the public needs to know their rights to use and transfer property… The Southern Adirondack REALTORS® Inc. (SAR) is an organization that provides support and services to REALTORS® in Warren, Washington, and Saratoga Counties. Located at 298 Bay Road in Queensbury, this organization promotes those rights, and supports the concept of conducting business in a competent and ethical manner. They strive to improve the quality of life for area residents by providing a variety of services; including providing a voice for REALTORS®, upholding professional standards, and acting as a third party to help mediate disputes with REALTOR® members. 

Sarah Wisdorf is currently the interim Association Executive/CEO. Sarah has both senior management experience and leadership skills – she holds both a bachelor and master’s degree in business administration, and has decades of experience in the real estate industry. In her role as interim CEO, Sarah oversees the daily operations of SAR, and is responsible for the growth and development of the real estate industry in the Southern Adirondack region: “In my role I help to maintain relationships. As an organization, we strongly support property rights, and work to reduce barriers to home ownership,” Sarah said.  

One of the key aspects of SAR is the high ethical standards that the organization sets for the members… This code of ethics separates SAR from other real estate licenses. It is a commitment to honor, integrity, and professionalism… This code of ethics is prescribed by The National Association of REALTOR®, which is the umbrella for SAR. 

SAR has a responsibility to help members and clients in a disputed situation, and will provide an ombudsman and professional standards hearings if there is ever a dispute or a question of unethical practices that needs an unbiased third party… These services are optional, but often result in a more timely outcome and avoid litigation. Offering this free service helps to avoid expensive and time-consuming litigation.

Sarah is aware of the impact of societal changes on the real estate market… Americans move an average of 11.7 times over the course of a lifetime. These moves occur for a variety of reasons, including changing jobs, upsizing or downsizing, or just trying out a new neighborhood. Unfortunately, low inventory is increasing prices and sending ripples through the real estate market… Prospective buyers are holding off on purchasing their first homes, and retirees who in the past have downsized are staying in their homes longer because of the elevated costs of real estate. SAR studies and monitors these factors to help support their members, clients and community: “SAR is committed to being a partner in helping to solve the challenges in the housing market. Advocating for increased inventory at all price-points, working to find ways to lessen the barriers to entering the housing market, and looking at new, creative, and sustainable building options.” Sarah said.

For more information, please visit Southernadkrealtors.org

The EPA and The City of Glens Falls Lead Pipe Inventory

The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring that every water utility across the United States complete an inventory of all of the water service lines by October 16th, 2024. This inventory is needed to identify and remove any lead pipes. The Water and Sewer division for the City of Glens Falls needs your help!

The EPA is amassing the inventory because there are 6 to 10-million lead service lines remaining in cities and towns across the country… There are dangerous health problems that can develop from lead exposure, as it can accumulate in your body, and has been linked to serious health ailments – which include headaches, stomach cramps, fatigue and irritability. Lead has also been linked to problems with development and health of bones, and can impair intellectual development and even damage the brain. 

The Department of Water and Sewer is required to meet EPA regulations. Bill Norton – the Superintendent of the Water and Sewer department for the City of Glens Falls – oversees the drinking water, sanitary sewer system, and storm system. There’s never a typical day in the water and sewer department… There are always things that arise where the systems operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year! Glens Falls uses about 2 millions gallons of water a day for roughly 5,000 customers. 

The EPA waterline inventory needs to be completed by October 16th, 2024. The primary focus of this inventory is to identify and remove any lead pipes… The city does have records regarding the pipes, but needs public assistance in identifying the pipes that go from the curb into the house: “We are asking people to participate in identifying their pipes so that we can comply with the EPA regulations,” Norton said. “The EPA wants 100% of the information, and we have a long way to go… Right now, we are doing the inventory, and if we find any lead, we notify the EPA,” Norton said. “We have to know all of the service lines going from our mains all the way to the homeowner’s house. They are looking to eliminate any lead connections… Years and years ago, lead was the material of choice. We are fortunate that we haven’t found a lot of it in Glens Falls, but we are still required to check everything… We have a lot of unknowns. We know about 85% of our system on the city side. We are also lucky enough that our meter readers who were going in and changing transmitters and meters would look on the homeowner’s side and they would note the kind of pipe… So we have about 40% to 45% of the inventory, and we are further along than most.” 

To help the Department of Water and Sewer meet the EPA inventory requirements, there are quick and easy instructions on Warren County website. It’s a bit like an elementary school science experiment!

Determining the Material of Your Water Service Line

You will need a:

  • Key or a coin
  • Strong refrigerator magnet

Step by Step Instructions

  • Find the water meter in your basement. Look at the pipe that comes through the outside wall of your home and connects to your meter.
  • Carefully scratch the pipe (like you would a lottery ticket) with a key or a coin. Do not use a knife or other sharp tool. Note: If the pipe is painted, use sandpaper to expose the metal first.
  • Place the magnet on the pipe.
  • Take a photo of the scratched pipe and submit your results in the form on the website.

Types of Pipes

Lead Pipe
A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe. Scratch the pipe with a penny. If the scraped area is shiny silver and flakes off, the service line is lead.
Copper Pipe
A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe. Scratch the pipe with a penny. If the scraped area is copper in color, like a penny, your service line is copper.

Galvanized Steel Pipe
If a magnet sticks to the surface, your service line is galvanized steel. A scratch test is not needed. If you scratch the pipe, it will remain dull gray.

In the meantime, if your tap water tests positive for lead or you have lead pipes in your home. there are a few easy steps you can take right now:  

Use a Filter – Several types of inexpensive household water filters are effective at removing lead. Before purchasing, look for a certification from NSF International that verifies the filter’s ability to remove lead. It will usually be found on the packaging. 

Run the Tap Before Use – Lead levels are likely at their highest when water has been sitting in the pipe for several hours. Clear this water from your pipes by running the cold water for several minutes, which allows you to draw fresh water from the main. You can use this water on houseplants, or to flush toilets. 

Use Cold Water for Cooking – Always cook and prepare baby formula with cold water, because hot water dissolves lead more quickly, resulting in higher levels in water.

Clean Aerators – Aerators are small attachments at the tips of faucets which regulate the flow of water… They can accumulate small particles of lead. It’s a good idea to remove your aerators at least monthly and clean them out.

For more information, please visit warrencountyny.gov

July 14th Payment Deadline Set For Tax Delinquent Property Owners In Warren County

Warren County property owners who are delinquent on property tax bills should contact Warren County Real Property Tax Services by Friday, July 14th, 2023 to discuss payment arrangements as deadlines approach for the annual tax foreclosure auction.

Warren County property owners who are behind on their taxes and would like to discuss a payment plan should contact Lexie Delurey, Warren County Director of Real Property Tax Services, at (518) 761-6466 by 9:00 AM on July 14th to avoid potential public auction of their property to recoup taxes.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors is considering doing away with the annual “last chance” public meeting for tax-delinquent property owners this year in light of dwindling attendance, so arrangements must be made with the Real Property Tax Services Office Director by July 14th.

In addition, Real Property Tax Services staff will be visiting tax-delinquent properties the week of June 5th, 2023 to begin the process of posting them for the annual property auction. This year’s auction has been scheduled for October 21, 2023 at Warren County Municipal Center.

For more information, please visit the Warren County Real Property Tax Services website.

“No Mow May”

The goal of “No Mow May” is to pause the mowing of lawns during the month of May… This pause in mowing allows flowers to bloom in your yard, and help early pollinators get an appreciable start after hibernation. Lawns cover 40 million acres of land in the United States, and are the single most irrigated crop that we grow… Lawns provide little benefit to wildlife, and are actually often harmful! Grass-only lawns do not have flowers or nesting sites for bees, and lawns are often treated with pesticides that are harmful to bees and other invertebrates. 

The start of the growing season is an important time for native bees and other pollinators, as flowers may be hard to find… By allowing the flowers to grow, much-needed pollen can be harvested to help pollinators thrive. There are other benefits to mowing less as well – it can help to create habitats, and increase biodiversity in local wildlife.

By mowing the lawn less, there can be year-round benefits! Taller grass tends to have deeper roots, and less water evaporates from the soil. Reducing the use of lawn mowers reduces air and noise pollution, and mowing less frequently creates better conditions for invertebrates, including lacewings and fireflies. 

Although “No Mow May” is beneficial to the environment, it can be controversial… Many people feel societal pressure to keep their lawns neat and clean. To offset this problem, there are signs that can be placed to explain that you are participating in “No Mow May”. It is also advised that although your grass will be longer, you should still consider trimming other areas of the lawn, and make sure that all debris is picked up so that the yard otherwise looks neat. Another solution would be to mow around the edges of the property, to help convey that you are maintaining the property.

If participating in “No Mow May” somehow isn’t an option, there are other ways to help the environment and pollinators – you could plant a variety of native plants that bloom throughout the season and provide natural nesting sites for bees. You could also reduce or eliminate pesticide use… And simply talking to friends and neighbors can help, too! Talking about the effect that we have on the environment, and the steps that we can take to reduce our impact on the environment, can inspire action on the part of others.

For more information about “No Mow May” Please visit beecityusa.org

What’s New With Community Solar?

Ever wonder how you can help the environment from the comfort of your own home? Think community solar farms! Community solar can be a great option for people who are unable to install solar panels or have insufficient solar resources.

Community solar is any solar project or purchasing program within a geographic area in which the benefits of the solar project flow to multiple customers. The Cornell Cooperative Extension is just starting up a program which would help lower carbon emissions by helping lower income households utilize solar energy. Solar, wind and other renewable resources will be increasingly utilized to deliver affordable and green electricity over the next decade. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERTA) clean energy agenda has a target of 70% renewable energy by 2030, and 100% by 2050.

People who live in apartments do not generally have the option of installing solar panels, but the Cornell Cooperative Extension is also working to connect people who live in apartments, as well as lower income families. By connecting people to community solar farms, there is a potential savings of 10% on their electric bill, and the service is still generated by the current utility company. 

Bradley Towel – the Energy Program Manager with the Cornell Cooperative Energy Program – sees the importance of small steps in gaining momentum: “One of the small things that has been put into place is consolidated billing. Instead of two separate bills, they have consolidated the bill, which also shows the savings” he said. 

There are pros and cons to community solar – it lowers electricity bills, reduces carbon footprint, and combats rising electrical fees, but at the same time, Solar farms take up a lot of space, and there is a lack of control over the output. 

Community solar programs are fast becoming the preferred option when choosing a clean energy source. Community solar farms are often built on unused barren land or brownfields, which are tracts of land that have been developed for industrial use, polluted, and then abandoned. Community solar farms cover between 20 to 40 acres, and are connected directly to the electrical grid. The incentive to participate – up to a 10% discount on electricity costs – pairs nicely with the positive environmental impact, and even better, people don’t need a roof or to own their own property to participate. By opting into community solar, people can participate in helping the environment, and save money on their utility bill at the same time.

Safe And Affordable Ways To Keep Heating Bills Lower This Winter

Heating bills are expected to increase this winter by 28% in nearly half of US homes. The cold days of winter are upon us… Energy and fuel costs are soaring as supply continues to tighten, but there are ways to save on your heating bill. One way is to seal up leaks. There can be air leaks in walls, windows, ceilings… Anywhere air can escape. Caulking and weather striping are helpful ways to seal up air leaks. Programming the thermostat can also be helpful; there can be as much as a 10% savings a year by dropping the thermostat 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day. Shutting doors of unused rooms, wearing warmer clothing, cooking, and buying curtains and shades are also affective ways to lower your heating costs. 

As costs rise, people naturally look for alternatives to heating. Ventless gas heaters are heaters that do not have a vent or chimney… These heaters are inexpensive and can be placed anywhere in a house or apartment; however, the indoor air quality can be compromised. Since the 1980s, all ventless warmers have been required to include an oxygen depletion sensor – this senses the oxygen in the room, and if the concentration of oxygen falls below a certain threshold, the heater is turned off. Ventless heaters are not meant for long-term use, or to be used to heat more than one room; they are designed to only be used when essential, and under parental supervision… And, because the heaters do not circulate air from the outside, it is essential to open a window when using them. 

Ventless heaters also create combustion byproducts that are harmful to your health: these include Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, and Water Vapor.

Carbon Monoxide is hazardous, and can be lethal in high concentrations; in low concentrations, it can cause health issues.  Nitrogen Dioxide can affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to respiratory disease. Water vapor can cause mold to grow, which can trigger allergy and asthma attacks. Ventless heaters do not have sensors for carbon monoxide or other harmful pollutants.

There are extensive safety warnings that accompany ventless gas heaters. These outline the dangers and potential hazards of the heaters. 

There are other alternatives to help keep heating costs lower and your home safer – changing filters ensures that the systems are working as efficiently as possible. A ceiling fan set to clockwise can be utilized to help to push heat down in the room. Buying shades and curtains help keep the house warmer; about 30% of heat loss is through windows. 

These are safe and easy ways to help keep your home a bit warmer this season. Although ventless heaters may seem like a great bargain, there are health and safety risks associated with them as well.

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