Schenectady County

Schenectady County authorizes up to $15.9 million in borrowing for capital projects

SUNY Schenectady is among the facilities that would receive upgrades under Schenectady County's planned capital projects.
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SUNY Schenectady is among the facilities that would receive upgrades under Schenectady County's planned capital projects.

SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady County Legislature last week approved a resolution advancing a series of capital improvement projects, including authorizing up to $15.9 million in borrowing to pay for the upgrades. 

Lawmakers last year approved a five-year capital improvement plan totaling $27.9 million for upgrades to the county airport, community college and other public facilities.

The county has already secured millions in funding for the various projects, including $7.3 million from the state and $4.5 million from the federal government, and is in the process of trying to secure additional funding to further offset costs.

Last week’s resolution, which was approved unanimously, will allow the county to borrow for the remaining costs if no additional funding can be secured, according to John McPhillips Jr., the county’s commissioner of finance.

“This is just simply authorization to bond,” he said. “This body, in conversations with the county manager’s office and the Department of Finance, may ultimately decide to cash capitalize some of these projects based on available funding and whether or not we could perhaps leverage additional outsource, whether it’s state or federal funds so the taxpayers don’t have to bear this.”

The capital improvement plan includes dozens of projects throughout the county, including upgrades to county libraries, road repairs and to purchase new equipment for the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department.

Some of the big ticket items include:

  • $4.5 million to acquire and demolish seven properties in the city of Schenectady, including: 234, 245, and 222 South Ferry St., 133, 143 and 145 South Church St. and 4 Fuller St.  
  • $4.4 million to construct, reconstruct, pave and resurface county roadways. 
  • $1.5 million to construct a prefabricated metal building for the Department of Public Works 
  • $1.2 million to replace equipment for the county’s Information Technology Department, including a county-wide switch upgrade, cloud-based telephone system and case management and investigation software.
  • $1 million relocate the academic advising, bursar, financial aid and registrar offices at SUNY Schenectady to the college’s Stockade Building.
  • $780,000 for SUNY Schenectady to upgrade its emergency phone system, replace fresh air rooftop units at the culinary kitchen at Elson Hall, upgrade campus-wide wireless access points and upgrades to classroom technology. 
  • $380,000 for a new roof at the county jail.
  • $265,500 for HVAC system upgrades at the Rotterdam, Quaker Street and Niskayuna library branches. 

The plan also sets $400,000 aside to prepare a feasibility and planning study to relocate the I-890 Exit 4 ramp. The Capital District Transportation Committee recommended looking at relocating the ramp near the Mohawk River behind SUNY Schenectady instead of running in front of the college. 

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold. 

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Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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