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County airport undergoes reorganization

A reorganization plan at the Schenectady County Airport will save taxpayers $50,000, increase the county's tax base and create new job opportunities at the Schenectady County Airport Business Park, officials say.

The reality is, there's less and less money to go around, said Joe Ryan, director of public works for Schenectady County.

One way the plan will save money is by assigning additional responsibilities to airport employees. Mike Schadewald's title is being changed from senior air traffic controller to airport operations coordinator, which means that on top of controlling traffic on the ground and in the air, Schadewald will now also look after some day-to-day operations.

Mark Stori, who has been working for the County Planning Department, is going to help market and develop the airport with Ray Gillen.

"He's kind of like a public relations person for the airport," said Ryan.

Lat Schmidt, the county engineer, will also become the airport engineer. Since he is the county engineer, this is already part of Schmidt's job description, but he will be playing a more active role in the airport now, according to Ryan.

"He'll assume those responsibilities primarily dealing with construction projects and implementation of federal grants, because we're a federally sponsored airport," Ryan said.

Gillen will be involved in the overall marketing of the airport and Tech Park alongside Mark Stori.

Ryan, meanwhile, has been named airport commissioner in addition to director of public works. He described his role at the airport as "the bandleader," making sure general maintenance and "things like that" happen.

"Fortunately it's reorganized in a way that brings in a couple players to support it, so it will reduce some of my time allotment to it," said Ryan. "We're reorganizing in a way to pull in more players to get the airport moving towards the future."

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