The Guilderland Town Board appointed a new chair to the Economic Development Advisory Committee for a stipend of $3,600, at its Tuesday, Aug. 19, meeting.
Thomas Kriger, will replace Donald Csaposs, who now acts solely as a provisional grant writer for the town. Csaposs retired as chair of the advisory council on April 29.
He was on the environmental council. He understands the issues of town government. He is familiar with our zoning ordinances and our comprehensive plan, said Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion.
Kriger has done budget analysis for the State University of New York education system and managed one of the largest farms in central New York.
Runion said his experience with Ontario Orchards, which Kriger worked at from 1980-1993, and his experience with the SUNY budget were key factors in the board’s decision to hire Kriger.
Kriger, who recently had surgery on his knee, hobbled to the podium at the Aug. 19 meeting to answer questions from the board about the plans to develop the community.
He also said information sharing is important, and `small business development centers,` are a great resource.
`I think that’s something we should take advantage of,` he said. `I think [the best strategy is] to go along with what’s been laid out in the comprehensive plan, and that’s development,` Kriger said.
The board asked him what he planned on doing with the advisory committee, and how he will use it as a tool to develop the community.
He said he wants to make sure people know about it, and make sure businesses are taking advantage of its resources.
Kriger said he plans to focus on developing the west side of town, update the transportation system, make the neighborhoods more pedestrian friendly, maintain the amount of farms in the area and find ways to provide wireless services to businesses.
He said his past experiences help qualify him to economically develop a town that has both urban and suburban qualities.
Kathy Burbank, executive director for the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, and a January appointee to the economic advisory council, said she is happy to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Kriger.
`It is my understanding that Mr. Kriger has a great understanding of economic development in Guilderland; and our issues with residential versus business development. I look forward to working with him,` Burbank said.
She said the GEDAC is moving toward providing a `central resource point,` for Guilderland businesses.
`We have focused on making commercial real estate listings available in one place, with the property zoning, water and other amenities available as well,` Burbank said. `New space in Guilderland is limited, so existing space should be promoted.“