ROTTERDAM: Exit to boosted tax base

The town of Rotterdam is studying the feasibility of encouraging development in the areas surrounding the town's three exits 25, 25A and 26 in order to increase the town's tax base.

"These areas are underutilized and underdeveloped," Supervisor Steven Tommasone said.

The studies are being paid for with three separate grants from the Capital District Transportation Committee's Linkage Program, totaling $85,000.

According to the CDTC's Web site, the Linkage Program helps municipalities with long-term planning. The Linkage Program has given out more than $3.3 million in federal, state and local grants since its inception in 2000.

Tommasone said he believes the areas around the exits are best suited for development because the roads can already handle the extra traffic. He pointed to other local munici-palities such as Clifton Park that has developed near I-87.

The greatest impediment to development in the areas surrounding exits 25 and 25A is the lack of sewer lines.

"Prospective developers come in, and the first thing they ask is if there is a sewer line," said Tommasone. "You tell them no and they leave."

Tommasone said town officials are trying to get private developers to build a sewer line that runs down Burdeck Street and out to Route 7 and then another line that runs down Hamburg Street and out to Curry Road.

Town Planner Peter Comenzo said Altamont Avenue has been quickly developed because there is a sewer line that businesses can connect to.

"Altamont Avenue was all farm land when I was younger," Tommasone said. "I know if you talk to older folks, they'll tell you that Hamburg Street used to be a vibrant area."

Tommasone said the problem with running a sewer line down Hamburg Street is that Rotterdam's sewage treatment plant wouldn't be able to accommodate the extra users unless it was upgraded, which would cost too much money.

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