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Town Board Minutes 04/01/2003

        HONORABLE               LIZ ORZEL KASPER                COUNCILWOMAN
                                WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN      COUNCILMAN
                                RICHARD A. HOLT         COUNCILMAN
                                DIANE P. O’DONNELL      COUNCILWOMAN
                                LUKE J. SMITH           SUPERVISOR

        Also present:  Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water & Sewer; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller; Kathy Matern, Town Planner; and Darryl Ostrnader, Deputy Police Chief.

        Public Hearing No. 1 – Considers application for a Community Development Grant.  
Mr. Bill Sweet announced that with the assistance of New York State,  L & L Manufacturing, a boiler manufacturer currently located in Canada, have made a commitment to relocate to Hillside Commerce Park in Niskayuna on a 10-acre parcel.  Their New York-based partner, currently located in the Bronx, has a big portion of the work in the New York City area. A 67,200 SF building will be constructed this fall.  They have received a Small Cities Grant that is part of the public hearing this evening.
There will be 100 jobs with the new building that will be expanding to 220 jobs within five years.  As part of the site plan approval process with the Town, it will allow for an expansion of the building by 80,000 SF so that ultimately it will be a 150,000 SF building.  All work is done inside the building and have a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and recycling.  There will be minimal storage outside of the building.  The building will be fully insulated with decibel levels within code.  
Jobs will increase as they expand the facility.  Employees will be unskilled, skilled, engineering, drafting, and technical as well as sales, management, administration, and shop foremen with experience with engineering, welding, the manufacturing process.  Wage rates will start at $10 and work up to annual salaries of $60,000-$80,000 and above.  A single shift with daytime hours is planned.  A new 1,650’ road will be built at Hillside Commerce Park that will open up other lots that will hopefully attract other companies like this.  Supervisor Smith added that the Town has a commitment of $150,000 by the County to bring parcels up to shovel-ready status in this area.   
Scott Cietek, Director of Project Administration for Metroplex spoke as a representative for Metroplex who will administer the Small Cities grant to L & L Manufacturing. They were asked to administer the program for the Town at no cost.  This is a $300,000 grant request to be used for such items as cranes and welding equipment.
When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Smith closed the public hearing.

Public Hearing No. 2 – Increases the boundaries of the Schenectady/Glenville Empire Zone to include an additional 3.87 acres.
        Mr. Steve Strikmen, administrator for the Schenectady-Glenville Empire Zone stated that Schenctady has an Empire Zone because it has census tracks that are low income/high poverty.  The zone provides incentives to businesses that locate in or near the area and provide job opportunities for people within the census tracks.  Because of the limited amount of land available in Schenectady, they must share land with surrounding areas. Environment One, who is in the zone, has completed a renovation and a large percentage of their new work force comes from the City of Schenectady.  We hope that
L & L Manufacturing will also provide many job opportunities for Niskayuna residents as well as the City of Schenectady.  There is no cost to the Town for the program; however, the Town provides a $2,000 per year administrative fee to the City of Schenectady.  
        If everything goes according to plan, the zone will be official about mid-May with notification being received in July or August.  
        Supervisor Smith commented that the benefit of the Empire Zone is that the property owner pays his full property taxes to the municipalities and is reimbursed by the State for those taxes.  There are also New York State tax credits, tax credits for each new employee, an income tax reduction credit based on the percentage of job growth off State income taxes, there is a sales tax exemption for purchases on the 4% state portion, and property tax credit.  
All jobs are listed with the Department of Labor.  Schenectady added a requirement that at least 25% be hired from the City and Environment One has far exceeded the requirements of hiring City residents.   
        When no members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed the public hearing.

        Public Hearing No. 3 – Considers amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding residential ramps.
        Councilman Chapman stated that this amendment allows residents to install ramps at their homes for people with disabilities without having to go to the Zoning Board for a variance.  The Code will allow residents the ability to secure a building permit from the Building Department for this construction a ramp.  Currently, variances granted by the Zoning Board can cause delays in getting ramps built.  The amendment allows the Town to meet a need when there is a need.  The Board discussed waiving the fee for securing the Building Permit that is approximately $50 for a ramp.
        When no members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed the public hearing.

        Public Hearing No. 4 – Considers amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map to delete professional offices in the R-3 High Density Residential Zoning District to rezone to R-P Residential Professional Zoning District for 1675 Providence Avenue.
        Councilman Chapman stated that R-3 is a high-density zone where apartments and professional offices are currently allowed.   A more appropriate zone for professional offices is the R-P zone and this amendment would remove professional offices from the R-3 zone.  Kathy Matern, Town Planner, pointed out locations within the Town with R-3 zoning such as Tall Oaks Apartments, Daisey Lane Apartments, Van Antwerp Village Apartments, a new proposed condominium location on Nott Street East by Mr. Myers, a proposed Inn location owned by Mr. Scott, Hillcrest Village East & West, Niskayuna Gardens, new condominiums along Hillside Avenue, Willowbrook Apartments, and some undeveloped R-3 property alongside Hillside Avenue.         
        When the R-P zone was made at River Road and Balltown Road, Dr. Kennedy’s property at the corner of Providence and Rosa Road (1675 Providence road) was rezoned to R-3 because he was originally R-2.  By approving this amendment, he would not be a non-conforming use in R-3 and h  e would be rezoned to R-P so his property would be a conforming use.  If this amendment is approved, once a structure is built in the R-3 zone, if it does not survive as high-density use and the owner wanted to make it into professional offices he would have to ask for a zone change to R-P or try and secure a use variance both of which are difficult.   There are other uses in R-3 such as day-care centers and adult day-care.  This is a tightening of our zoning and places decisions about types of businesses that can go into residential areas with the Town Board.  The owner of  R-P zoned property can place single family homes on this property based on the R-2 standards which is 9,000 SF lots.  

        The Minutes of the Regular Meeting of March 18, 2003 were approved as submitted.

        William Anderson, 20 Pinecrest, asked about Town Board procedures and when it is appropriate to close a public hearings.

        Ann Carter, 801 Ravine Road, requested a traffic signal on Providence Road at Hillside due to problems seen on this road.  Supervisor Smith agreed, especially in light of the announcement tonight about L & L Manufacturing moving into Town.

        Jeremy Mailer, 1464 Clifton Park Road, asked the benefits and drawbacks of St. James Square and Mohawk Commons.  He likes these commercial areas and is proud of Niskayuna for having them.  Supervisor Smith responded that these properties provide taxes and services to the Town.

        Jeremy Rockmacher 2280 Sweetbrier Road, in answer to his inquiry was informed that the Army recruiter was actively recruiting at St. James Square.

        There being no further public who wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed Privilege of the Floor.


        The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes, unless otherwise noted.
        Resolution 2003-86 considers the petition for Extension No. 89 to Consolidated Sewer District No. 1 for Fillmore Avenue and Stanford Avenue to be considered by the Board April 15, 2003.
Resolution 2003-87 appoints Daniel R. Galli, to the position of Water Plant Operator on a permanent basis effective retroactive to March 18, 2003.


            Resolution 2003-88 appoints David Furman, 1540 Keyes Avenue, Scott Horgen, 2036 Lexington parkway; and Lucy Comly, 1455 Dean Street, to the Niskayuna Town Tree Council to terms of office which expire on April 14, 2003.

        Resolution 2003-89 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with Troy & Banks Consultants; to provide independent consulting to review the franchise fee terms in the Town’s Cable Television Franchise Agreement for the purpose of recovering any underpayment at a fee of 50% of the amount recovered.

        Resolution 2003-90 authorizes the issuance of a $50,000 serial bond to acquire a twenty (20) passenger bus.

        Resolution 2003-91 authorizes the purchase of a new 2003 Phoenix coach for the Recreation Department from Shepard Brothers, at a cost not to exceed $50,000+/-.

        Resolution 2003-92 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a review process to receive a simplified and expedited review of projects which require DEC approval.

        Resolution 2003-93 authorizes the printing of flyers for the Recreation Department’s spring programs by Quality Graphics, at a cost not to exceed $740.

        Resolution 2003-94 authorizes the purchase of 30 Millennium Chemical-Biological Gas masks plus 30 nylon carriers from Center Brunswick Sales, for the Police Department,   at a total cost of $7,850.

        At this time, the Supervisor requested that the Board go into Executive Session to discuss contract negotiations.

        There being no further business to come before the Town Board, the Supervisor adjourned the meeting.

                                        Helen Kopke, Town Clerk


One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
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