YIR 2008: Extreme weather burdens county

Editor's Note: The following is a recap of news in Schenectady County from the second half of 2008. A recap of the first six months of 2008 appeared last week, Dec. 26. To view Spotlight Newspapers' Year in Pictures 2008, click the link below



A proposed resolution sponsored by the Schenectady County Legislature's Republican minority would repeal the county's sales tax on gasoline and home heating oil.

The resolution, sponsored by freshman Legislator Angelo Santabarbara, was submitted earlier in the month, but was not included in the agenda for July.

The measure would specifically mark electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil, natural gas and propane gas as exempt from the sales taxes collected and imposed by the county.

If passed, the resolution would require authorization by the state Legislature.

Fortitech, a global company that manufactures custom nutrient premixes, broke ground on a $4.5 million distribution center at the Schenectady County Airport in Glenville after closing on the property on Thursday, July 17.

The 20-acre site, which Fortitech purchased from the county for $1.05 million, will host a 48,000-square-foot building and will be part of the county's new Airport Tech Park.

Fortitech spokesman Patrick Morris said he expected that construction of the center and seven truck bays would be completed by spring. Morris said the company would employ several energy cost-saving techniques.

The center will include 90 skylights, and electrical sensors will shut off lights when rooms in the new building aren't occupied, said Morris.

When construction is complete, Morris said, the company expects to add approximately 25 jobs to the area. Those jobs will be spread out between the airport site and the Riverside Tech Park headquarters.

Severe damage to the county highway system due to a series of heavy rains and flash flooding left the county with a bill that totaled more than $3 million after the county was forced to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday, July 23.

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