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Sidewalks, comp plan targets for Bethlehem in 2013

Clarkson lays out vision in State of the Town

Supervisor John Clarkson delivers his second State of the Town address at Bethlehem Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Supervisor John Clarkson delivers his second State of the Town address at Bethlehem Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson hopes to focus the second year of his term on sustainable development, civic improvements and economic expansion.

At his State of the Town address given at Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24, Clarkson laid out his plans for 2013 while outlining accomplishments made over the past year. The first-term supervisor cited as victories a budget below the property tax cap, a new capital spending plan, the use of citizen advisory committees and ethics reform. Clarkson also touted consolidation of services and a knowledgeable work force.

“We are a town in good condition and I think it’s our responsibility to set a good example for the region and the state,” he said.

Having tackled a budget crisis in 2012, Clarkson said he is looking to revisit Bethlehem’s comprehensive plan. The Comprehensive Plan Assessment Committee has been meeting for several months and town employees have been presenting their ideas about land us to the group. Discussions have focused on revitalizing the Hudson River shoreline and doing zoning overlays corresponding to the Delaware Avenue and New Scotland Road hamlets for mixed residential use.

“There will be pressure points,” said Clarkson. “Open space I’m sure is going to be one but ultimately these are issues the town board should deal with, must deal with, and I know that we will.”

Clarkson said he would like to bond to finish most of the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Improvement Plan, which calls for new sidewalks, curbing and more trees along the busy thoroughfare.

“This is our center of town, this is our main street,” said Clarkson. “It’s our defining characteristic, in many ways. It’s why people move here and it’s a wonderful resource no matter what corner of town you live. I think we have to not only maintain it, but take steps to improve it.”

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