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North Country News

Senator Dan Stec Tours Plattsburgh

New York state Senator Dan Stec was in Plattsburgh today/Thursday to tour city departments and become familiar with city operations. Stec succeeded retired GOP Senator Betty Little in January.

Republican Dan Stec of the 45th district is serving his first term in the New York Senate after previously serving in the state Assembly, Queensbury Town Supervisor and chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.  

Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest, a Democrat, invited the Senator to tour city operations.  
Senator Stec was introduced to department heads in the city council chambers at City Hall before the tour.

Mayor Rosenquest hopes this individualized tour builds a relationship with the region’s new senator. 

“Part of this has been to not only invite our state reps to see the city but also just to introduce them to our city employees, the management that runs our city, the different departments, where they’re located throughout the city," the mayor said. "We like to have them know what they’re representing and who they’re representing and how we operate, see our pain points and for us to understand what they need from us as well.”  

Senator Stec says he has been visiting communities across the district but this is the most in-depth tour yet.  

“You know I’m just curious to see how things are going," Stec said. "And obviously the kinds of questions I’m going to ask is: What’s the relationship with the state? Is the state easy to work with? Hard to work with? What are the challenges? What could we be doing more to help your department? Obviously I’m always interested particularly these days to hear what the police department has to say. An opportunity to talk to them, to the firefighters. You know hey how’s this going? What are you experiencing at the state level? We’ve had some firefighter insurance issues. I’m curious their take on. So it’s just an opportunity to meet people that I haven’t met before because I haven’t represented Plattsburgh before.”

City Environmental Manager Jonathan Ruff is in charge of the Water Resource Recovery Facility. When Senator Stec stopped by his office in City Hall, Ruff teased an idea they have for the plant. 

“We are planning to turn the wastewater plant into a destination people wasn’t to go and visit and recreate around," Ruff said. 
Stec: “A tourist destination - wastewater?”
Ruff:  “Yeah.”
Stec:  “That’s definitely out of the box thinking.”

When Stec arrived at the wastewater plant, Ruff explained their interpretive center conceptual plans.  

"This courtyard out here that you entered through we’re going to be enclosing with some really cool architectural stuff and it’s going to be the initial phases of an interpretive center to draw people here so they can learn about the water cycle and in particular about wastewater treatment," Ruff said. "What the process is, you know they’ll see it with interactive exhibits and all that.  Then we’re going to have stairs and an elevator that will lift you up on top of the plant inside glass enclosures so you can actually see the whole process as it’s performed in real time. So you get to learn and interact with it here and get up on the plant and really see it happen.”

Senator Stec also visited Plattsburgh’s Municipal Lighting Department, Public Works, Police and Fire Departments. The tour follows a similar itinerary taken by Assemblyman D. Billy Jones earlier this month.