Schenectady

Scotia residents approve bond for new fire station, other upgrades

Peter Brooks signs in with Village of Scotia deputy clerk Newe Haile before casting his ballot on the Scotia firehouse referendum, held at the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Scotia on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Peter Brooks signs in with Village of Scotia deputy clerk Newe Haile before casting his ballot on the Scotia firehouse referendum, held at the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Scotia on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

SCOTIA-Plans to construct a new $8.75 million Scotia fire station and provide $5 million worth of renovations to the police and village offices was approved Tuesday.

Residents of the village turned out between noon and 9 p.m. Tuesday to vote on the referendum, which would have bonded for the sum of $13.8 million over 24 to 26 years. It passed 440 to 369. 

“We’re ready to go,” said Village Mayor Tom Gifford once the results came in. 

He said next the village will need to get the bond in place and look for an architect. 

Issues surrounding the over century old fire station and outdated village office and police department have been going on for decades. 

The most recent project called for building a new approximately 14,000-square-foot fire station in a portion of the municipal lot behind the village hall. That square-footage was down from a previously discussed almost 16,000-square-foot space. That change allowed for the addition of parking spaces back to what was left of the lot. That lot currently allows for 57 spaces, and would have 41 spaces under the new plan.

The department has seven vehicles that would be housed in the facility – four large pieces and three small pieces. 

The proposed building would be 80 feet in length with four doors. There would be three bays with two vehicles each, and then space for one vehicle to park in a smaller bay. The other half of the project calls for spending $5 million to renovate the existing village hall to better suit the needs of the village employees and police department and meet various compliance requirements including ADA standards. 

Forty-seven-year resident Michael Ritter said he voted against the referendum. 

“I vote no because the fact of the matter is the referendum is out of control price wise,” he said. 

Just as many other residents have iterated before him–many people aren’t against a new fire house. In fact, many in the village know a new one is needed. 

However, residents can’t get behind the price tag, particularly when village taxes have continued to go up each year. 

“I don’t want it to increase my taxes,” said another resident, who declined to provide their name. 

Many people the Gazette tried to speak to declined to provide their name or comment at all on the matter after leaving the polling site.

Under the bond a home assessed at $100,000 would pay $193 in taxes annually.

Ritter had said if the referendum passed he would think about moving to Glenville where his girlfriend has a home and that he believed the village should dissolve and join the town instead.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @SB_DailyGazette. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

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