The Niskayuna Town Board voted Tuesday night to purchase a long-awaited new town bus to mainly serve senior citizens.
The senior citizens had voted over a year ago to put a $10,000 bequest earmarked for senior programs toward the new bus.
The bus will seat 20 passengers, the same as the old bus. But it will have important upgrades.
The sides will be carpeted to keep sound levels down, there will be overhead racks and a public address system to communicate with passengers better.
“I’m glad to hear that we’re going to get it,” Town Board member Liz Orzel Kasper said. “I think it’s great.”
The bus is slated to cost just over $55,000. The bequest will help offset that cost, with the approximately $45,000 remaining to be bonded, Supervisor Joe Landry said.
Margaret Blechinger, who was among those who pressed for the new bus, applauded the seniors for working hard to get the bus.
“I’m thrilled that it is here. I’m thrilled that we’re about to accept the bid,” she said.
Kasper said that while the bus is a town bus, she expects it to mainly serve the seniors for group trips. Landry said he also sees it being used for town recreation programs.
The town could get the bus as early as Sept. 7, deputy highway superintendent Ray Smith said.
The length of time it took for the Town Board to approve the bus was normal, Landry said. The board had to decide on funding the remaining portion.
“It takes a while to do that and it takes a while to get a board to determine that, yes this is what we want to do,” Landry said. “We’re very pleased to be doing this.”
Also Tuesday night, the Town Board set a public hearing for Sept. 12 to consider a proposed moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of drilling for natural gas.
There have been no requests or interest in this form of drilling in Niskayuna, the town said.
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