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Dropped merger talks irk town

Kastberg said if he and the board were trying to make a politically charged move, they would have "played to the crowd" and thrown out consolidation plans after the public hearing.

Still, Koetzle was disheartened by the decision.

"They had decided to kill an idea that I believe was not ready to be killed," Koetzle said. "It was a premature decision, and it was a decision that was made without a lot of thought and a lot of discussion."

Leading up to the decision, there had been some informal meetings between the town and village discussing possibilities, and Glenville Police Chief Michael Ranalli presented a concept plan publicly on March 29.

Different areas of consolidation have been discussed over the years between the two municipalities, but nothing has ever come to fruition.

"To continue going down the path that we are going down is really no harm to us," said Koetzle.

Kastberg had approached the town about the idea of consolidating the police departments, but now the village will form an internal committee to evaluate cost-saving measures. After addressing some "in-house issues," he said, the village would approach the town about increasing shared services.

Koetzle said he was recently discussing consolidation with members of the Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce and was asked what he thought such efforts accomplish.

"It is only going to happen when local leaders, elected leaders, show the leadership to get it done beyond all the strife, beyond all the debate, beyond all the issues. Until there is leadership on the local level, it is not going to get done," said Koetzle.

Kastberg said the issue of police consolidation could come up again if the economy worsens and other cost-saving measures can't be achieved.

"I am sure it will be revisited again. The people that are the biggest pessimists will say the village will need to cease to exist," said Kastberg. "There are not many ways to generate revenue other than taxes at this point.""

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