Saratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch will head the Racing and Trails Committees in 2009, he announced Friday, Jan. 2. He will also serve on the Legislative and Research, Social Programs, and Economic Development County Committees.
Incoming County Board of Supervisors Chair Arthur Johnson, of Wilton, made the appointments. Johnson was unanimously elected to head the board on Friday.
The committee chairs will be the second-year supervisor's first on the county level.
The Racing Committee studies issues related to the horse racing industry in Saratoga County, which has the largest equine population in the state. As chair, Veitch will also serve as one of the five appointed members of the New York Racing Association Local Advisory Board.
Veitch said he wants to make standardbred racing more visible and update a Racing Committee study on the economic impact of racing in Saratoga County and surrounding areas.
The Trails Committee is a new, ad-hoc entity that will study trail development on county land, looking to the Green Infrastructure Plan for funding ideas. Though the county's green space initiatives have been well funded, Veitch says that more money needs to be found for building trails.
The committee's first task will be constructing nature trails on three of the county's parcels in the coming year, which are located in forestlands near Wilton and Northumberland. Veitch said the committee's goal will be to get actual trails laid down as soon as possible.
It's a good program because the country forest land just sits there, said Veitch. "County residents own it but they can't really use it."
I have been a strong advocate for trails in the City of Saratoga Springs, and I am ready to begin working with my fellow committee members on this important initiative for 2009," he continued.
Veitch will also continue to work on the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway Foundation, which gives grants to various programs and charities around the county.