Embracing a new town comprehensive plan, proposed technology park corridor, Route 85 road work and local waterfront revitalization work are just a few of the ongoing projects Cunningham inherited from his predecessor. Vista Technology Park is a town-board-endorsed project expected to bring thousands of new jobs to 440 acres of land in the towns of New Scotland and Bethlehem. Vista currently has no announced tenants, but Cunningham said he believes the project will help "balance the town tax base" by encouraging commercial growth.
"The commercial growth adds to the town tax base," said Cunningham, who said he agrees that the direct revenues from Vista to the town are not substantial.
"If Vista is a fast build-out, the school district will receive more revenue," said Cunningham, who said construction on the tech park is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2008.
Although the first tenants will most likely be retail, Cunningham said Vista is being built to attract high-tech facilities.
"The tech park is zoned to encourage tech companies to come in with the belief this whole area will be a technology corridor," he said.
Cunningham said he believes town property values will also be enhanced because of Vista. When asked about residents' concerns of Vista becoming another big box retail region similar to the Glenmont 9W corridor, Cunningham said any retail development within the Vista Park is there to "support the office workers."
As for Route 9W, Cunningham calls the area a "region in transition."
"Wal-Mart was built prior to any comprehensive plan," said Cunningham, who considers 9W in Glenmont a "good" commercial district.
"Some residents in that area don't like it at all and others don't mind it being a retail commercial area," he said.
Sidewalks, not town finances are the No. 1 concern of residents Cunningham has heard from this year.