After a year full of economic developments, Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle has no plans to back off the throttle in 2013.
Koetzle delivered his State of the Town address at a Town Board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 16, and simultaneously detailed his 2013 Strategic Plan, which focuses on streamlining town operations, continuing economic development, improving town infrastructure and budgeting effectively. Koetzle focused on fiscal responsibility and long-term planning, while maintaining services town residents expect and enhancing the quality of life.
“Our revenues continue to stagnate, our county and state mandated expenses continue to climb out of sight and the taxpayer’s pocketbook continues to be at risk,” Koetzle said. “We know that we are the government closet to the people, with the responsibility of developing core services to the residents that you’ve come to expect.”
The supervisor hopes to reduce fund balance usage again, to a total of around $500,000. Koetzle’s administration has whittled fund balance usage down from $1.4 million in the 2010 budget to $670,000 allocated this year.
“Using your fund balance to pay for operational expenses is akin to using your savings account to pay your mortgage,” Koetzle said.
He said the board would also seek to reduce $75,000 worth of non-mandated expenses and present a budget within the state imposed tax cap. Recently appointed Town Comptroller Jason Cuthbert will help Koetzle achieve his goals.
Developers will likely welcome Koetzle’s proposal to streamline the approval process for projects.
“We need to establish a rapid response team that can deliver what I call a ‘one-pass promise,’” Koetzle said. “We must commit to our developers that you will go through the process once.”
Once new businesses open up, Koetzle is hoping to strengthen their local customer base.
He pitched a loyalty program called “G-Bills” for town businesses to offer residents, which would be accrued by shopping at participating businesses and redeemed for some sort of discount. He tapped the town’s businesses association for help implementing the program.
The town’s main commercial corridor along Route 50 will remain a focus as Koetzle commits to launch a “Light Glenville” campaign. He is bidding to secure funding from Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority to install new lighting and signage, which would match new lighting installed in front of Target.
The push stems from a Department of Transportation commitment to install sidewalks throughout the town center in 2014, so he said it is now or never.
“Once those sidewalks are down you can’t tear those up and put new lighting in,” Koetzle said. “This is a program Metroplex should fund because it is important to this town, it is important to the county.”
Also, he reaffirmed the town’s push to expand its sewer line up Route 50 to the town line and explore building a new sewer plant in partnership with the Village of Scotia.
At the edge of a different commercial corridor, the town will push to acquire the U.S. General Services Administration at the former Scotia Navy Depot.
During the summer, the former administration and commissary building at the Navy Depot collapsed. Federal officials have since demolished the building following the town’s request.
After acquiring the approximately 60-acre property, Koetzle wants to explore a possible new-shared facility with the village and county public works departments.
To improve the quality of life for residents, more town-hosted community events will be targeted following the success of Oktoberfest, and improvement of parks is coming into focus.
“Our parks are true gems in this area,” Koetzle said. “I have talked with Niskayuna residents who use our parks because they like them better than their own. It’s important we continue to invest in our parks for our residents.”