Fortitech moves forward with plans to build at Schenectady Airport

The Schenectady County Legislature will consider a transfer of property and the construction of an access road that would allow work to begin later this year on Fortitech's proposed $4 million project at the Schenectady County Airport.

Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said Fortitech, an international company specializing in nutrient systems, plans to build a 40,000-square-foot facility for research development on the site as the flagship project in what is called the new Airport Tech Park.

The Legislature will vote on two separate resolutions Tuesday, May 13, that concern a currently vacant parcel off Route 50 in Glenville.

The first resolution asks the Legislature to consider accepting a $150,000 Metroplex grant for the purpose of creating a 1,200-foot county access road to the site of the Fortitech project that would connect to Rudy Chase Drive and intersect with Route 50.

County officials said the road would be used primarily by Fortitech employees to connect to the driveway of the proposed facility.

The second proposed resolution would authorize the county to sell 24 acres of land at the airport to the county Industrial Development Agency for $1,050,000. In turn, the IDA would sell the property to Fortitech for the same amount.

Metroplex's Gillen said Fortitech could build up to four buildings on the site, which was no longer required for airport use. Fortitech also retains its headquarters off Maxon Road, Schenectady, and employs approximately 180 people in the county.

Gillen has championed the Fortitech project as an example of the county's desire to attract and retain international businesses.

Fortitech is a fast-growing company that is expanding rapidly, said Gillen.

Resolutions to build the access road and to transfer the parcel to the IDA were added to the Legislature's agenda in committee meetings for its Monday, May 12 meeting.

Joe Ryan, the county director of public works said that the construction of the road is contingent on the conveyance of the property to Fortitech. Only Minority Leader Robert Farley, R-Scotia, was vocal in his opposition of the road's construction. He called the project's funding a "subterfuge system" that avoided a county obligation to bond for county roads.

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