Schenectady County

Glenville fire district contract modified

Glenville and Scotia officials have negotiated a lower cost for fire protection services in Fire Dis

Glenville and Scotia officials have negotiated a lower cost for fire protection services in Fire District 4 to help the town stay within the state-imposed property tax cap.

The Scotia Fire Department provides coverage for District 4, which consists of properties below Mohawk Avenue in Glenville and the western portion of the industrial park. The village and town in 2010 agreed on a five-year contract that set the cost at nearly $383,000 for the first year and locked in a 3.25 percent increase each year.

The agreement will expire at the end of 2014. Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said that pact was made before the imposition of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap on municipalities. Town officials wanted to modify the agreement so they were not hampered in developing their budget by a rate increase that was more than the cap.

In exchange for limiting the increase to 2 percent, Glenville proposes extending the contract by one year so it runs through 2015.

Koetzle said the change would save taxpayers in the fire district about $134,000 over the life of the contract.

“I think it’s a great example of cooperation among the municipalities,” he said.

The Glenville Town Board will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the amendment.

Fire District 4 has been a political hot potato in the past. In 2009, then-Supervisor Frank Quinn floated the idea of contracting with the Thomas Corners or Beukendaal volunteer fire companies, but the idea never went forward after opposition from village officials.

The revenue from the District 4 contract makes up a significant portion of the Scotia Fire Department’s roughly $418,000 annual budget.

Also Wednesday, the Glenville Town Board will hold a public hearing on a proposal to limit the number of units permitted for multifamily housing. The zoning ordinance amendment would reduce the maximum number of units of multifamily housing per acre from 20 to 10 and increase the minimum floor area for apartments from 500 to 800 square feet.

It also would require that developers of projects with both commercial and housing components build a portion of the commercial development equal to or greater than the amount of multifamily housing being constructed. If building the project in phases, the developer wouldn’t be able to build all the residential units first and none of the commercial space.

Town officials had drafted this legislation because of a concern about the proliferation of multifamily housing projects in the town.

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