Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Feb. 26

Your Voice



A letter to the editor in Tuesday’s edition from Tom Favata of Scotia incorrectly identified him as the chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and commissioner of Economic Development and Planning in Schenectady County. He is neither. Those positions are held by Ray Gillen.

More Alco site information provided here

Mr. Paul Butler’s Feb. 16 letter (“More info needed on ALCO site projects”) asked for more information about property taxes paid at the former Alco site.

We are pleased to provide this information. The former Alco site paid more than $5 million in property taxes in 2019.

This does not include the almost $6 million paid directly by Rivers Casino & Resort to the City of Schenectady and Schenectady County as a share of casino revenues. The casino also pays a share of revenues to neighboring counties.

The Alco site used to produce zero taxes and zero jobs for Schenectady County. For many years, it was an eyesore.

Our unified economic development team made rebuilding this site a high priority.

In addition to the new tax revenue, we are fast approaching 2,000 new jobs at the former Alco site now considered to be one of the largest and most successful waterfront developments in New York State.

Each January, Metroplex issues a report on all of its property tax agreements. This information can be found at www.schenectadymetroplex.org.

We thank the project developers, the Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming, for their game changing private investment at Mohawk Harbor, formerly the Alco site.


The writer is chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and commissioner of Economic Development and Planning in Schenectady County.


Pensioners ‘paid their dues’ too

Recently, there has been a movement to support the proposed Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption in Schenectady. Veterans certainly deserve the multiple benefits they currently receive through their service to America.

But let’s not forget the many St. Clare’s pensioners who have lost all of their benefits. Some, losing their homes.

America’s veterans still receive their multiple benefits i.e. health care, retirement, etc. St. Clare’s pensioners receive nothing.

Throughout the years, they too have “paid their dues” to the residents of Schenectady. America’s veterans have not been forgotten. Let’s not forget the many employees of St. Clare’s who have dedicated their lives to care for the many residents of Schenectady. Is an additional $12 a year tax increase going in the wrong direction?



Another view on Mohawk flooding

Perhaps your readers can stand yet one more view on the flooding problem on the Mohawk River, specifically the area of Front Street in Schenectady.

The Jan. 12 Foss article (“State plan for Lock 7 dam a breakthrough”) tries to place the flooding problem on Lock 7. As a lifelong resident of the area and 40-year first responder to these flood events, I can say Lock 7 is not the problem. Yes, sometimes Lock 7 backs the ice up into the Alplaus area, it does eventually flush over the open Lock 7 wall.

The flooding problem has always been the railroad bridge downstream from Front street. The many footings are too close together to allow the ice, debris and backed up water to pass downstream. This does not require a $300 million study into the problem. The problem has been there since the railroad bridge was built.

The solution is simple, the current Front street bridge and footings have to go.

Do you build a new single span railroad bridge in the same location? Not likely, with Amtrak being subsidized by taxpayers just to operate. Leaving the other option, to find a way to connect the east/west railroad corridor to the two train bridges that do cross the Mohawk River (Maxon Road and Rotterdam Junction).

Can you build a new bridge or connector lines for $300 million? I don’t know. But let’s not spend the money on a study that sits on a shelf collecting dust. Solve the problem now.



Too much partisanship

Every day there are letters blaming the Democrats or the Republicans for all our problems. There is enough blame to go around for both parties and for Americans in general.

We failed to listen to the warning of the father of our country, George Washington. In his “Farewell Address,” he warned against political parties and the problems there would be.

In the past, after the elections the parties came together to work for the good of the country. That is not the case today. I am not wise enough to come up with a better modification to the current system but maybe some scholars are.

However, I believe that as long as things stay the same we will have government “of the party, by the party, for the party” instead of government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Clifton Park


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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