City of Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saratoga Springs 7-17-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Feeding and release of waterfowl — See Ch. 112.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 155.
Public property — See Ch. 178.
Zoning — See Ch. 240.

§ 110-1 Statutory authority; purpose.

The City Council of the City of Saratoga Springs, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law, Article 2, General Municipal Finances, hereby establishes a program for the purpose of protecting, preserving, enhancing, and improving environmentally sensitive, recreational and scenic land, as such are regulated by various sections of New York State law pursuant to the approval of the electors of the City in a public referendum held pursuant to all applicable statutes of the laws of the State of New York.

§ 110-2 Legislative intent.

Continuing development within the City has demonstrated a compelling need to acquire, improve, preserve, protect, maintain the availability of, and improve the City's remaining natural areas, wetlands, trails, watershed protection land, farm land, stream and other green-way corridors, historical and archaeological sites and areas, significant habitats and ecologically important areas, geological landmarks, public access areas and other similar such open land for active and passive park and recreational facilities, and preserve open areas, to enhance the general quality of life and the environment of the City, and thereby benefit the residents and taxpayers of the City. In order to achieve these goals, the City requires a mechanism to purchase land, easements or other real property rights and interests quickly and efficiently, and make original improvements and embellishments thereto, as the need arises and opportunities are identified. Appropriate fiscal planning is an essential component of fulfilling this goal.

§ 110-3 Legislative findings.

The City Council hereby finds that, in order to more effectively implement the powers and authorities granted to cities by New York State General Municipal Law § 247 and New York State Environmental Conservation Law §§ 49-0301 through 49-0311, both inclusive, which recognize the value of open areas and the need to preserve such land, and empower municipalities with authority to acquire real property to preserve as open areas, to more effectively implement the powers and authorities granted to cities by various sections of General City Law of the State of New York, which recognize the value of active and passive park and recreational facilities, and empower municipalities with authority to provide for original improvement and embellishment of such facilities, including acquisition of real property and/or rights and interests in real property for such purposes, the establishment of an environmental, parks, and open areas protection program pursuant to the laws of the State of New York is necessary.

§ 110-4 Capital reserve fund established.

A. 
Fund account. The Commissioner of Finance shall establish and maintain a separately designated account, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 6-c, to be known as the "Environmental, Parks and Open Areas Acquisition and Improvement Capital Reserve Fund," and may establish therein one or several subaccounts for the purposes set forth herein, as may be required by proper accounting procedures.
B. 
Scope of fund. This Fund shall be used, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 6-c, to fund the acquisition, protection and maintenance of ownership, rights and interests in land and improvements thereto, for active and passive park and recreational purposes, and preservation of open areas. Said expenditures may be made directly from dedicated, general and special revenues, and need not be bonded, in the sole discretion of the City Council.
C. 
Deposits. This Fund shall be the repository for all revenues specifically designated for expenditure by the City for the purposes set forth herein, including bond revenues, dedicated fees, general or special municipal revenues and from such other sources as the City Council may determine, in its sole discretion, where permitted by the Laws of the State of New York, including but not limited to those set forth herein below.
D. 
Additional deposits. The City shall also pursue and attract, for deposit in and use in accordance with this Fund, where permitted by the laws of the State of New York, additional funds, gifts and grants from foundations, private donations, any additional private or public sources, and federal, state and county matching funds.
E. 
Prohibitions. Monies from this Fund shall not be used for any purposes which are not specifically set forth in this chapter.

§ 110-5 Debt reserve fund established.

A. 
Fund account. The Commissioner of Finance shall establish and maintain a separately designated account, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 6-h, to be known as the "Environmental, Parks and Open Areas Acquisition Improvement Debt Reserve Fund," and may establish one or several subaccounts for the purposes set forth herein, as may be required by proper accounting procedures.
B. 
Scope of Fund. This Fund shall be used, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 6-h, to accumulate all revenues designated by the City Council for payment of any bonded indebtedness incurred by the City in pursuing the purposes set forth herein.
C. 
Deposits. This Fund shall be the repository for revenues collected by the City through real property taxes assessed against the whole City tax rate, commencing with the fiscal year of the City beginning January 1, 2002, and from such sources not derived from real property taxes as the City Council may determine, in its sole discretion, where permitted by the laws of the State of New York. Except for revenues derived from the issuance and sale of serial bonds, revenues shall be transferred from the above-referenced Capital Reserve Fund, as the City Council may determine to be necessary, in its sole discretion.
D. 
Prohibition. Monies from this Fund shall not be used for any purposes other than payment of any bonded indebtedness incurred in pursuit of the purposes of this chapter.

§ 110-6 Reserve funds.

A. 
City Council.
(1) 
No expenditures shall be made from these funds except upon the specific authorization of the City Council pursuant to and for the purposes described in this chapter and based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee established hereunder. In authorizing such expenditures, the City Council must make findings pursuant to the City's adopted open area plan, as amended.
(2) 
Appointment of Advisory Committee; membership; terms of office.
(a) 
The Mayor shall appoint an Advisory Committee of citizens who have a commitment to preservation of open areas. The Committee shall have seven members appointed by the Mayor.
(b) 
Terms of office.
[1] 
The initial seven members shall be appointed to terms as follows:
[a] 
Two members: one year;
[b] 
One member: two years;
[c] 
Two members: three years;
[d] 
One member: four years, and
[e] 
One member: five years.
[2] 
Each member of the Advisory Committee shall thereafter be appointed for a term of five years, and any member may be reappointed upon expiration of the term thereof.
(3) 
The Advisory Committee established hereunder shall develop criteria for the expenditure of funds for the acquisition of ownership, rights, or interests in land and improvements thereto for active and passive parks and recreational purposes, and preservation of open areas and shall submit same to the City Council for approval. The Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the City Council based on said criteria.
B. 
Commissioner of Finance. The Commissioner of Finance shall have the power to invest, from time to time, the monies of these funds, in accordance with General Municipal Law, Article 2, General Municipal Finances, and any other appropriate statutes of the laws of the State of New York.
C. 
City parks. All real properties purchased in title with monies from these funds may be dedicated as parklands on a site-specific basis, which may then only be alienated with the approval of the New York State Legislature, and, in such case, shall be maintained by the appropriate City agency.

§ 110-7 Limit on funding of accounts.

These accounts shall cease to receive further funding after all bonded indebtedness incurred for the purposes of this chapter has been paid, unless the provisions of this chapter are extended by resolution of the City Council in increments of five years. The City Council may, in its sole discretion, prepay all bonded indebtedness and terminate the funding of these accounts earlier than stated herein, upon adoption of a resolution determining to do so. If at any time the City Council does not extend the funding for these accounts, the balances remaining therein shall be used for the purposes set forth herein above until they have been depleted.