Rotterdam reaps Metroplex's benefits

After the city of Schenectady, Rotterdam has benefited the most from the work of the Metroplex Development Authority and, according to chairman Ray Gillen, more projects are still to come.

Through Metroplex's efforts, Rotterdam has seen $119 million in new investment from projects like Railex, Fedex and Price Chopper's new freezer warehouse.

Gillen presented the state of economic development in each of Schenectady County's five towns at the county Legislature's committee meeting Monday, Oct. 1.

Each month, Gillen presents an update to the Legislature about the state of economic development efforts in the area. After residents spoke about their displeasure with Metroplex at the last county Legislature meeting, Gillen decided to dispel the myth that it only works in the city and presented the projects that Metroplex is working on and has completed in the towns.

A small portion of county taxes, one half of one percent, goes to the Metroplex Development Authority each year. In turn Metroplex uses those revenues to generate commercial growth in order to expand the county's property tax base, sales tax revenues and create jobs.

Rotterdam Supervisor Steven Tommasone said he is committed to using a portion of the $1 million the town received this year from Metroplex for economic development, including building infrastructure.

Our administration, in my view, has been the first to carry through on utilizing those funds for planning and economic development, he said.

Gillen said some town residents don't notice Metroplex's presence because its work isn't as obvious as the city's revitalization efforts.

"People think we aren't working in the towns because we are focused on smart growth," Gillen said. "We work in commercial areas and try not to affect the residential areas."

In addition to generating local growth and expanding the local tax base, Metroplex gives a portion of its revenues directly to the towns each year.

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