Niskayuna is one of the five towns and one city, Schenectady that comprise the County of Schenectady. Niskayuna lies in the northeast corner of the County, bounded on the west by the City, on the south by the Town of Colonie, and, separated by the Mohawk River, by Clifton Park on the north and east. The Town is about 15 miles northwest of Albany, its principal points of entry being from Route 7, the Troy-Schenectady Road, and Route 5, the Albany-Schenectady Road, continuing north along Route 146, Balltown Road, at Mohawk Commons.
Niskayuna is predominantly a residential community consisting of 7,285 single-family homes, 1,415 apartments, and a small number of town houses and condominiums. Although much green space has been preserved, there are few large tracts of land left for future development. About 85% of the Town's 1.2 billion assessed valuation is residential. Only a small part of its 20% commercial development is devoted to retail use, most being general office and medical or health care facilities. A strong zoning ordinance regulates both residential and commercial development.
By population, estimated to be 21,781 as of 2010, Niskayuna is only the third largest of the five Schenectady County towns, Rotterdam and Glenville each being about 50% larger. But Niskayuna, having only the relatively small land area of 14.1 square miles, is the most densely populated of the five towns.
By population, Niskayuna ranks 72nd of the 932 towns in the State. Of the 46 towns in the nearby Capital District - those in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties - Niskayuna ranks seventh. Only Colonie, Clifton Park, Rotterdam, Glenville, Guilderland, and Bethlehem, in that order, are more populous. If Niskayuna were a city, it would rank at just about the midpoint of the State's 61 cities. Some cities in this area that are smaller than Niskayuna are Cohoes, Rensselaer, and Watervliet.
The center of Niskayuna lies at the crossroads of Balltown Road and Nott Street. The newer part of Nott Street, east of Balltown is called Nott Street East. In that vicinity lie the Town Hall, the County's Elizabeth Harriman Bean Branch Library, the Post Office, Niskayuna High School, WRGB, Shop Rite Square, and banking, grocery, and retail establishments.
Niskayuna is home to the General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center, Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp. (formerly Lockheed-Martin Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory), Environment One, the Schenectady International research laboratory, Bellevue Woman's Hospital, and the Hilltop Manor Head Injury Hospital & Nursing Home.
A second commercial center lies in the southwest corner of Town at the crossroads of Balltown and Consaul Roads and continues over to and along State Street. This area includes the Mohawk Commons, Raymour-Flanigan Plaza, Mansion Square, and three new-car agencies on State Street, and a small shopping plaza, also on State Street. There is also a shopping plaza called Niskayuna Square located on Consaul Road across from the service entrance to the State's O.D. Heck facility. The plaza's anchors are a Hannaford supermarket and a large branch of Key Bank.
More than 99% of Niskayuna properties have access to a public water supply, and the water usage rate, currently $2.60 per thousand gallons, is one of the lowest in the northeast United States. About two thirds of the water is drawn from wells on Town property, and about one-third is purchased from the City of Schenectady. The water from both sources is appropriately filtered, chlorinated, and fluoridated.
All but about 4% of Niskayuna properties are served by one of two sewer districts. Effluent from District 1, which lies predominantly to the west of Balltown Road, flows into a City of Schenectady treatment plant; effluent from District 6, which serves the rest of the Town, flows to a Town Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Town's population is 51.74% female and 48.26% male. By race, the Town is 90.75% White, 6.01% Asian, 1.57% African-American, and 0.54% "Other." The age spectrum as of 2010 was:
Less than 5 yrs old - 1394
Ages 5 through 19 - 4843
Ages 20 through 24 - 706
Ages 25 through 44 - 4544
Ages 45 through 54 - 3360
Ages 55 through 64 - 3053
Ages 65 through 74 - 1608
Ages 75 and Over - 2035
This results in a median age of 44.2 years.
The average family income in Niskayuna is the highest in the Capital District. Its full-value assessment per capita is the largest in Schenectady County and allows Town taxes to be the lowest in Schenectady County and among the lowest in the Capital District. The Town is home to many doctors, lawyers, business owners and managers, and college professors.
An active Republican and Democratic Committee serve the Town. Each is authorized to appoint two Committeemen for each of the Town's 20 election districts. Since 1970, the party affiliation of the five-person Town Board has ranged from 5-0 Republican to 5-0 Democratic. The current Board is 5-0 Democratic.
Approximately 12,000 persons are registered to vote in federal, State, and Town elections. Women outnumber men 53% to 47%. Typically, about 8,000 people vote in Town elections and about 10,000 in presidential elections. About 38% of the electorate are enrolled Republican, 33% Democratic, 27% independent (no party affiliation), and 2% are enrolled in one or another of the Conservative, Independence, Liberal, Right-to-Life, or Freedom parties.