Schenectady

Schenectady County approves 10-year contract with Air Guard for airport use

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SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady County Legislature approved a resolution to allow county Manager Rory Fluman to enter into a new 10-year agreement with the New York Air Guard to use the Schenectady County Airport during its monthly meeting Thursday evening. 

The contract would be retroactive to October 1, 2018 and go until Sept. 30 2028, according to agenda documents. 

For the 2019 fiscal year which goes from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 the county will receive $69,800 from the Guard. For 2019-2020 it would get around $70,600; for 2020-2021 the county will be paid almost $74,000 and for 2021-2022 the county will get about $75,400. 

“Then it goes up 2% every year after,” Fluman said. 

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The Guard, which has its own firefighters staff, would supply assistance, if needed, and the county would pay the Guard for any foam it used to put fires out, according to the agreement.

Fluman said there are always extra layers of federal administration that need to be tackled when dealing with contracts, which is why it can take awhile to come to a final agreement. 

“It’s not uncommon to go a year or two without a contract with the federal government,” he said.

The 109th Air National Guard has been flying at the airport since before 1947, said Senior Master Sgt. William Gizara, the public affairs superintendent for the 109th. 

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“Most guard bases are at airports,” he said.

Fluman said the county is excited to continue partnering with the Guard.

“We’re lucky to have them in this county,” he said. 

There are 1,200 people employed at the Guard base, said Legislator Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady. 

He said their combined total economic impact is over $100 million. 

“To not have that presence there would be noticeable,” he said.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]

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