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Niskayuna mulls water rate hike

Also at the July 12 meeting, the Town Board approved a new local law that bans smoking in all town parks, including the town pool, the hike and bike trail, playgrounds and the baseball, softball, lacrosse, football and soccer fields.

"This law will help to protect our children from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke," said Councilwomen Julie McDonnell, who sponsored the local law.

According to the 2007 Community Tobacco Survey provided by the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, 78 percent of Schenectady County residents favor smoke-free playgrounds.

Later in the meeting, Ray Gillen, chairman of the Metroplex Committee, made a presentation to the board on its activities, emphasizing those that affect Niskayuna. This year, the town received about $700,000 from the committee.

Gillen said that in the past four years, Metroplex economic development initiatives accounted for over 3,000 new jobs and $300 million in new investment. One of its efforts resolved a property tax dispute between the county and General Electric on the taxes due on its facilities in Niskayuna, as well as improvements to the Global Research and Development facility and the GE Learning Center on Balltown road, the addition of the Unilux company to the expanding Niskayuna Technology Park, and the leasing of the vacant former Nova Bus plant.

Ongoing Metroplex projects in the Niskayuna area include finding clients for the St. James Square, recruiting a second tenant for the Niskayuna Tech Park; continuing the rehabilitation of the former Nova Bus building, and continuing the faCade program. ""

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