• The Schenectady County Legislature holds its organizational meeting, with Democrats celebrating recent election victories before tackling business. James Buhrmaster, R-Glenville, rises to minority leader of his party, but becomes the sole GOP voice in the legislature.
• The Scotia-Glenville Board of Education declines to send a new student to Tech Valley High School, but stands firm on commitments made to two students already enrolled at the high tech, project-based academic institution. Other local districts also weigh the cost versus the gain of sending students. Dan Liebert, principal of Tech Valley High School, says the school has seen “stable enrollment” during the last few years.
• Schenectady County legislators unanimously approve selling the former Draper School property to the Disabled American Veterans of New York Services, Inc. The DAV offered the county $63,333 for the 3.5-acre property located on Draper Avenue in Rotterdam, and plans to convert it into approximately 120 apartments for disabled veterans.
• The Rotterdam Town Board hears the findings of a study examining the Five Corners intersection. The best alternative calls for a double roundabout and the second alternative calls for the town to widen the adjoining roadways while creating sidewalks, bicycle lanes and landscaping. Both projects are estimated to cost $5 to $10 million and require obtaining the properties of two existing gas stations.
• The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing, based in Scotia, evacuates seven badly burned crewmembers of a 167-foot long South Korean fishing vessel after the crew compartment catches fire. The ship was 372 miles from the United States McMurdo Station in Antarctica when the blaze started.
• Former Rotterdam supervisor Frank Del Gallo was right in denying Diane Marco wages she claimed were due, according to a ruling by Glenville Town Justice Brian Mercy. Marco, former project coordinator for the Rotterdam Senior Center and the new town clerk, was denied past wages totaling $519.23 she claimed were due.
• The Niskayuna Town Board approves a new lawn debris fee by a 3-1 vote. The local law establishes a new $30 annual fee on property owners for the town picking up brush, grass, branches and other yard waste. The town’s 2012 budget includes $150,000 in new revenue from the fee.
• The push to preserve a sledding hill and open space next to the Indian Kill Nature Preserve reaches a conclusion, with county legislators approving a formal parkland dedication upon construction of a new Glendale Home. The home is planned to be completed in April 2014. Almost 20 acres of open space are to be preserved as parkland.
• Schenectady County sales tax collections are reported to have increased 7.9 percent in 2011, which was the second largest growth in the Capital District and fourteenth largest in Upstate New York. The county collected $89 million in 2011, an increase of $6.5 million from 2010 collections.
• The Rotterdam Town Board dissolves the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency and accepts ownership of the Curry Road Plaza property. The move is spurred by a state recommendation. Remaining IDA funds are handed over to the town and earmarked for economic development.
• County officials hold a public workshop at the county library’s Central Branch to share data from a greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The county’s government operations created 9,681 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2010. Countywide emissions in 2010 totaled more than 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, with buildings and facilities accounting for 64 percent of emissions.
• County legislators unanimously approve removing restrictions imposed on the retail sale of wine and liquor during certain holidays. The changed restrictions allow sales on New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
• Addressing a standing-room-only crowd ranging from young children in lacrosse uniforms to seniors, Niskayuna Councilwoman Julie McDonnell presents the town’s plan to build and bond for a new indoor recreation facility at the former town skate park at Blatnick Park. There are mixed thoughts on the town bonding $350,000 for the facility.
• The Schenectady County Legislature hears from several minority contractors opposing the new Glendale Nursing Home Project Licensing Agreement. The PLA was approved in February. County officials touted the agreement for increasing the use of apprentices as a benefit for minorities, women and economically disadvantaged individuals.
• Jack Burgers make a triumphant return to the Scotia riverside after some feared a summer tradition was washed up. In last August of 2011, many residents flocked to an unfamiliar sight of Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In almost fully submerged by floodwaters. The eatery opened on time as usual, signaling summer’s approach, after owners and employees put in extra time to clean up.
• Moody’s Investors Services upgrade the Town of Glenville’s bond rating to Aa3 from A1, moving the town’s rating to the bottom of the high quality ratings. The upgrade comes shortly after the Town Board approved refinancing of public improvement serial bonds from 2002 totaling more than $3.3 million.
• The Great Flats Nature Preserve in Rotterdam is set for expansion after county legislators approve razing two long vacant and blighted homes at 146 West Campbell Road bordering I-890. The county owns the homes through tax foreclosure and it is estimated it will cost $70,000 for asbestos remediation and demolition.
• Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the state would cover local expenses in the 25 counties receiving Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance related to last year’s flooding. Statewide recovery cleanup costs are projected to exceed $1.6 billion, with the local share totaling around $60.9 million.
• Eighth graders at Iroquois Middle School in Niskayuna get some color added to their history lessons as they listen to firsthand accounts from four local World War II veterans.
• The former Schenectady AMVETS Post No. 35 makes a comeback in Rotterdam after dissolving several years ago due to declining membership. Officers are sworn in for the newly formed post, which inducts 24 members to become a chartered post.
• Rotterdam Public Works Coordinator Michael Griesemer resigns from his position after claims of sexual harassment from a female subordinate spur the town to open an investigation. Griesemer’s attorney, Christopher Massaroni, denies the claims made by Former Department of Public Works clerk Vicky Carrieri.
• Residents opposing a proposed CVS Pharmacy rest easier knowing a majority of the Rotterdam Town Board disapproves of a zoning change needed for the project. The board does not set a public hearing on rezoning four properties near the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road from R-1 Residential to B-1 Retail.
• The final Brownfield study is discussed during a presentation at a Rotterdam Town Board meeting, wrapping up a six-year process. The study deals with redeveloping areas of Rotterdam Junction.
• The Glenville Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approves a site plan by Clifton Park-based New York Development Group that includes building 13 luxury apartment buildings near the Schenectady County Airport.
• The Schenectady County Legislature during a special meeting approves nearly $35 million in contracts for the construction of the new 200-bed Glendale Nursing Home. The 12 Democratic legislators in attendance vote in support, with James Buhrmaster, R-Glenville, and Holly Vellano, C-Rotterdam, voting against approving the bids.
• The Niskayuna Fire Department No. 1 holds a dedication ceremony for recently completed renovations and an addition to its fire station located at 1079 Balltown Road. In 2010, fire district voters gave the department approval to bond $4.8 million, with an interest rate of 2.6 percent, for the project.
• The ALCO Heritage Museum holds its grand opening at its new site at 1910 Maxon Road in Schenectady. Some of the larger historical artifacts on display include a M-47 Patton Tank and the 1909 Black Beast Automobile, both built by ALCO.
• The Rotterdam Town Board unanimously approves issuing a Request for Proposals for the former Curry Road Plaza, a blighted, 12-acre site at the center of town that has remained largely vacant since Kmart pulled out more than two decades ago. Town officials targeted the site for redevelopment almost five years ago.
• The Schenectady County Legislature, Rotterdam Town Board and Schalmont Board of Education vote to approve an agreement settling tax litigation claims with General Electric Company stretching back to 2003. Several officials applaud the closure as a fair agreement, especially with an August court date looming if negotiations failed. Under the agreement, Rotterdam settles the assessment of the GE facilities in the town, totaling approximately 325 acres and containing 43 buildings, at $132 million from 2003 to 2011.
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