Schenectady County

Officials address project impacts

Residents near a proposed public safety training site off Vley Road got some questions answered Wedn
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Residents near a proposed public safety training site off Vley Road got some questions answered Wednesday about what kind of neighbor the project could be.

A Schenectady County group seeks to build the facility on a 14-acre parcel, including a fire tower and an outdoor course where police officers and firefighters can practice driving.

Pat Vieta, who lives at 610 Wagner Road, said she supports the project but said her concerns were traffic and the aesthetics of the building.

“Having a large building like that could look very much out of place,” she said.

Consortium member Peter Russo said the building would be no taller than 40 feet — about four stories. Project officials also said traffic would be limited because the facility would not be able to train a large group of people at one time.

Don Jefts, who lives adjacent to the site at 1734 Vley Road, wanted to know about hours of operation.

Scotia Fire Chief Richard Kasko said fire training classes are typically held on weekday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. and there may be a daytime Saturday class.

Jefts also did not want light to shine on his property. Project engineer John McDonald said the lighting would be restricted to the property and there would a landscaping buffer.

Glenville Supervisor Frank Quinn said the board is supportive of the project. The Planning and Zoning Commission will review the proposal at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The consortium includes Schenectady County Community College, the Glenville Fire Training Facility Inc., Schenectady Fire Department, St. Clare’s Hospital and the Zone 5 Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy.

David Hennessy, chairman of SCCC’s Department of Business and Law, said they hope to start construction in the fall.

The project has received a $2.5 million grant for construction and another $550,000 for operational funds designated by Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna.

East Glenville Fire District Chief Arnold Briscoe said firefighters now require more specialized training to handle situations like hazardous materials, structural collapse of a building and extrication from vehicles.

Pat Smith, executive director of the Zone 5 Police Academy, said currently police are practicing driving skills at places like the Crossgates Mall parking lot. This facility would allow more agencies to provide driving training, which very few are able to do.

OPEN SPACE

In other business, the board voted to adopt the Open Space Plan, which has been in the making for more than two years. Goals including protecting scenic views, enhancing gateways and preserving the character of historical sites.

Open Space Committee Chairman Mark Storti said the next step would be to meet with the Town Board in a work session to develop guidelines for how people could donate property under the open space plan.

The board also voted to fund $625 for Freedom Park and $1,239 for the Memorial Day parade. The funds would come from the town’s surplus. The supervisor and board member Edward Rosenberg voted in opposition to using the reserve funds.

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