The purchase of 13 Habel Lane in Glenville by Schenectady County for the county airport means the 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base can expand and enhance security.
“If the airport acquires these parcels of property they could be added to the property already leased by the Air National Guard at the county airport,” said Senior Master Sgt. William Gizara, the public affairs superintendent for the 109th. “A new training complex for the 109th Airlift Wing could be constructed on this parcel.”
The county voted 12-0 Tuesday during its monthly meeting to pay property owner Rita Harris $250,000 for her 2.45 acre parcel. Legislators Randy Pascarella, C- Duanesburg, Princetown, Rotterdam and village of Delanson, Jeffrey McDonald, D- Schenectady and Grant Socha, C-Glenville, Niskayuna and village of Scotia were absent from the meeting.
The sale price is fair, said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Metroplex Development Authority during the meeting, noting the county looked at what similar properties were selling for.
The property is assessed at $186,800, according to county documents.
Gillen thanked Harris for allowing the county to move forward on this request from the Guard.
“She’s nearing retirement age, so she was gracious enough to sell the property for a very fair price,” Gillen said.
Harris was a flight nurse at the base for 20 years, Gillen said. She is not retired. Her late husband was also a Lt. Colonel at the base where he was a registered nurse and pilot.
“I think it’s a legacy to her that this will be used to help enhance training and security at the base and we’re very indebted to her,” he said.
Harris declined to comment.
The county is also leasing to the base another 3.45 acres of land that it owns in the same area.
“Any time the Air Base asks the community to do something we always like to say yes and be very responsive because they do so much for our community and are really heroes,” Gillen said.
Gillen said the base accounts for over 1,000 jobs and $100 million in economic impact to the area.
The county is purchasing the property using obligation serial bonds–a loan given to governmental bodies for such purchases with the understanding that the entity has the financial resources to pay back the money.
“The bond will be repaid with funds from the lease agreement,” said Erin Roberts, the director of public communications for the county.
Negotiations for a new lease agreement are underway. The county did not comment on how much the Guard was previously paying in its lease agreement.