Andre Claridge said it’s important for Glenville to look ready for business, pointing to one of the town’s entrance signs, as well as taking steps to promote economic growth.
continued Many people might believe Glenville’s location isn’t ideal, for example, but he stressed it is centrally located.
“A lot of folks think Glenville is out of the way, but they don’t realize if you really live in Glenville you have everything right here and whatever you don’t have here is just 30 minutes away,” Claridge said.
Claridge said the town is approaching economic development in the right way through effective town leadership creating a more welcoming environment for business. A new initiative recently proposed by Town Supervisor Christopher Koetzle is having a “one-pass promise” for developers going through town approvals for projects.
Claridge said while the town doesn’t have one central commercial corridor there are five hubs throughout the town, including the town center, Schenectady County Airport, Freeman’s Bridge Road, Glenville Business & Technology Park and Route 5 in the Village of Scotia.
“Glenville will be the type of community that people want to sit in a coffee shop on Saturday afternoon, and without a real sort of focused town center it is hard to create those types of atmospheres,” Claridge said. “You guys have to work exceptionally hard to build that center so that growth can sort of come from that.”
Marketing the town on a tight budget requires smart approaches, he said, such as using social media effectively and possibly creating a simple website solely focusing on a pro-business message.
“You have to keep your budget in mind, so if you have limited funds you have to be creative,” Claridge said.
Glenville’s drive for economic development is primarily focused on lessening the tax burden on residents, which is generally greater than that of surrounding municipalities.
Town officials have previously said residents contribute roughly 80 percent of property taxes and commercial 15 percent. Comparatively, Rotterdam and Niskayuna residents bear only around 60 percent of the tax burdens in those towns, with Clifton Park residents chipping in 50 percent.
Councilwoman Gina Wierzbowski said it’s important for town officials to change people’s perception of the town and highlight positive attributes.
“We are close to everything and it is a great place to live and raise a family,” Wierzbowski said.