Schenectady County

Glenville training center plans on hold

A project to build a public safety training center is on indefinite hold because a $2.5 million gran

A project to build a public safety training center is on indefinite hold because a $2.5 million grant has not been released by the state.

The Homeland Security and Public Safety Training Consortium had sought to build a facility on a 12-acre parcel at 1725 Vley Road. It would include classrooms, a fire tower and an outdoor course where police officers and firefighters could practice driving their vehicles.

But the funding has not been authorized because of New York’s fiscal crisis.

“With all the confusion and what’s been going on over there, it wound up being taken back by the state,” said Pat Smith, director of the Zone 5 Regional Law Enforcement Police Academy, one of the consortium partners. “We’re trying to find other sources of funding at this point.”

The consortium had received two grants for the project — a $414,000 planning grant from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services and a $2.5 million capital project grant obtained by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, in 2006. However, the consortium spent the next few years waiting for the state to deed the property to Glenville and negotiating a lease with the town. Then it had to go through site review. The Glenville Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the project in May 2008.

“We got held up by Glenville for almost 3 1⁄2 years trying to go through all the different committees we had to go through,” Smith said. “By the time we got all our ducks in order, the budget crisis hit in Albany.”

The consortium found out in late fall that the $2.5 million was no longer available. It had already started to put out requests for proposals to do preliminary site work.

Smith said the consortium is working with Farley’s office to try to obtain funding and the consortium is also looking at federal grant funding.

Farley’s spokesman, Peter Edman, said the money is tied up because of the budget situation but has not been lost.

“It’s something that we’re still pursuing and hopefully we’ll be able to move forward on,” he said.

The consortium’s partners are still interested in the project. Other partners include Glenville Fire Tower Inc., the Schenectady Fire Department and Schenectady County Community College.

The initial planning grant was used by SCCC to develop a long-distance program where students take a paramedic course through a video hookup with Hudson Valley Community College twice a week. The students travel to HVCC one other day a week.

SCCC President Quintin B. Bullock confirmed the training center project is stalled.

“We are reviewing all of our programs and as we go through our strategic planning, we’ll identify where we stand,” he said.

That process will be wrapped up by the end of May.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply