Niskayuna officials are proposing a number of bonded projects, but the new indoor recreation center is still the project drawing the ire of some residents.
Town officials from various departments quickly ran through a list of projects proposed for bonding during another well-attended Town Board meeting on Tuesday, March 27.
A rough estimate from numbers provided during the presentation has the bond package proposal falling around $3.7 million, which includes building a new recreation facility primarily for the use of Niskayuna Soccer and Lacrosse Club members. Although there were many projects proposed, residents attending the meeting generally didn’t voice any concern outside of the recreation center.
The first project discussed was the purchase of a telephone system for Town Hall, which has remained basically unchanged since the building was built in 1995. The manufacturer dropped support for the system several years ago and refurbished parts are becoming harder to purchase, according to the town’s William Lawrence. The new system is estimated to cost $35,000.
Town Planner Kathy Matern proposed replacing a 2003 Chevy pickup truck for $18,000, saying the truck is starting to cost the department money. Town building inspectors use the truck when going out on inspections. The town also has a newer vehicle that was replaced two years ago, making for one vehicle for each inspector.
Town Highway Superintendent Frank Gavin presented a series of projects, with the largest amount at $500,000 going towards major road reconstruction involving “quite a bit” of drainage work. He also is looking to replace three vehicles at an estimated cost of $245,000 and is looking to make improvements to the town’s radio system for $40,000. Renovations are also going to be done on Town Hall’s roof for around $70,000.
Also, Gavin said the seniors would receive a long-awaited replacement bus, which is being bonded for $60,000, with the remaining cost covered through a donation to the town.
The police department is seekingto bond $62,000 for two new patrol cars and the cost to up fit the new cars with existing equipment. Also, the department is looking to get a new voice recording system.
Design and construction of a new maintenance building, which has been previously discussed, is slated for around $2 million.
Superintendent of Water and Sewer Richard Pollock proposed $50,000 for design work to construct inflow and infiltration improvements, $100,000 for a new generator for the wastewater treatment plant, $75,000 for replacing one 1994 back hoe and purchasing a new emergency truck.
Residents didn’t speak out for or against most of the newly presented bond proposals, but there were continued objections to the town bonding for a new recreation center, which is slated at $350,00 in bonding, $100,000 from the parkland fund and $200,000 through donations from the Niskayuna Soccer and Lacrosse clubs.
Niskayuna resident and engineer Thomas Donohue didn’t agree with the calculations behind the new indoor recreation center.
“I’m going to be blunt, the numbers are bogus,” Donohue said. “Having done this kind of engineering analysis for buildings … the maintenance allowance is totally inadequate.”
He continued to disagree with costs for turf replacement not being included and thought operating expenses would fall closer to $99,000.
“That means the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill for ($41,500) a year” Donohue said. “The only way you can do that is with around $130 an hour for a rental fee.”
Councilwoman Julie McDonnell previously said the town is eyeing $75 per hour as a rental fee. Also, McDonnell said after the meeting she was confident in her revenue and operating cost calculations.