Schenectady County

Niskayuna water, sewer borrowing plan delayed

A second controversial bonding proposal has been put on hold, town officials announced Friday, this

A second controversial bonding proposal has been put on hold, town officials announced Friday, this one the proposal for the new water and sewer maintenance facility.

Meanwhile, the town has agreed to a new two-year contract with the police union and a senior programs worker criticized by some seniors is no longer with the town, officials said.

On hold is the estimated $2 million water and sewer project bonding proposal. The new facility had been slated to be located next to the highway garage on WTRY Road, moving there from its current site near Blatnick Park.

But councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw, chair of the town Public Works Committee, said in a statement Friday that further analysis needs to be done on the proposed site. “Before we make any bonding commitments on this project, I think we need our staff to do more preliminary investigative work,” McGraw said in the statement.

Two smaller bonding resolutions are expected to go forward as early as this week: a study to help determine fixes to the town sewer inflow and infiltration problems; and an emergency truck for the water and sewer department.

The water and sewer facility is the second bonding project put on hold for further study. Put on hold late last month was a proposal to bond about $350,000 toward a $650,000 total project. That was put on hold to look at other financing options after a large opposition surfaced and required support on the board didn’t materialize.

The town board meets Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Regarding the police contract, the town board approved the contract at its May 17 meeting. The contract runs from January 2012 to December 2013. It includes annual 1.5 percent raises.

Other highlights, according to the memorandum of agreement: Advanced notice required to use compensatory time is changed to 4 hours, rather than 24; Detectives are moved to Monday through Friday shifts, rather than a previous schedule that essentially included one three-day off period every three weeks; the town is to reimburse for insurance co-pay changes through the end of the contract, though after that the town’s reimbursements stop; new hires as of Jan. 1, 2013 will pay 20 percent of dental coverage, currently there is no contribution; officers recalled for duty will get a minimum of three hours pay, previously the minimum was 2.5 hours.

The two sides also agreed to negotiate a drug and alcohol testing policy and a military leave policy.

Supervisor Joe Landry said the aim of the drug and alcohol testing policy is to have random testing for both. “We have a very good record here,” Landry said. “Since I’ve been supervisor, there’s been no incidents at all. That’s why we agreed not hold up the contract for that.”

The two sides have 90 days to set the drug and alcohol policy and 180 days to set the military leave policy. A representative of the union could not be reached for comment Friday. The union represents just over 20 members.

Also Friday, Landry confirmed senior program part-time employee April Steenburgh has left, after just under a year with the town. In November, she was accused of being one half of a scuffle at the senior center, the other half being former senior programs employee Sue Leonard.

The police were called an the sheriff’s department then took over the investigation.

Schenectady County prosecutor Michael DeMatteo, who then reviewed the investigation’s results, confirmed Friday that the investigation found conflicting accounts and a lack of corroborating eyewitnesses. The case, which would have been violation level in any event, was not pursued further.

Landry said Steenburgh left on her own to pursue other opportunities. Her position has been filled by an employee moved from the town clerk’s office.

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