Rope course raises more questions
The current controversy over the use of the Glenville Hills for an obstacle course raises several questions about our town leadership.
First, the town of Glenville has denied permission to the Cellinis to open and operate this business.
Their response has been to ignore the town’s decision and operate the course seven days a week, a decision to which the town seems to have quietly acceded. Thus, the Celinis have demonstrated their contempt for the right of the town to make such decisions and thus the question, who is running things here, our town or the Cellinis.
Second, why has the town submitted meekly to the arrogant behavior of the Cellinis. Could it be that the town hopes that the Cellinis will win in court, thus opening up the Glenville Hills to unlimited commercial exploitation. (They, our leaders, the Sochas, the Amadores, etc., have pretty much used up all the available land along the Route 50 corridor and thus may need new land to exploit.).
Mr. Chris Koetzle (our town supervisor) and crowd can then throw up their hands and say: “Gee, what can we do? It’s the courts," while the most precious asset our town has left is frittered away. Yes, I know, the perennial cliché voiced whenever a town leader is asked about uncontrolled development, “But we need to raise the tax base.” Baloney. Our leaders have been raising the tax base until I’m running out of gas sitting at lights waiting for 50-plus cars to go through.
Further proof of the failure of the town’s fiscal policy is the recent article in The Gazette reporting that of the 10 highest community tax rates in the Capital District, Glenville ranked third — third. No other comparable community even made the list. (Schenectady and Albany were first and second.) Thanks be that these guys, the town leaders, the Cellinis, the exploiters, weren’t in charge when the decisions were made to conserve Lake George, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, etc., or we would be looking at strip mall/building development heaven in all those places.
This issue is important. The Glenville Hills are important and they are under attack. The question of who determines the future use of our only remaining natural asset is important. If it is our town leaders and the land is lost, we are lost. But if we demand that our voices determine whether our West Glenville Hills resource is conserved in the name of salvaging whatever quality of life the influx of housing developments, big box stores, gas stations, fast food restaurants, car dealers (we have 16 between Freemans Bridge Road and Burnt Hills — 16), etc., we still have left, then we will have made a contribution to a better future for us and those still to come. Now that would be worth doing.
Finally, a message to The Gazette, which I hope will not prevent this letter from seeing print.
Your reporter, Brett Samuels, states in his article, that the “the zip lines provide a different way to experience the hills and gorges of West Glenville and it’s an easy activity to enjoy whether young, old, daring or cautious. Mountain Range provides an activity that previously wasn’t available in the area.”
Pretty positive observation. However, the initial premise of the article seemed to be an examination of the “controversy”’ regarding the use of the Glenville Hills. Nowhere in the report did I find any quotes, any indication that quotes were even sought, from the residents of the “Hills” who might have offered a somewhat more critical opinion of this adventure business. So much for an unbiased report.
Burnt Hills Fire Commission meetings open to the public
In an effort to be transparent to the taxpayers of the Burnt Hills Fire District, the Board of Fire Commissioners would like to inform everyone of the events that so far have taken place regarding the proposed CVS project and the initiation of a building committee.
The majority of the board in January 2016 voted and approved a straw vote (informal vote) to permit representatives (Zaremba Group) of CVS Pharmacy to submit to the town of Ballston Planning Board an application that would replace its current location on Route 50 to Lakehill Road (formally the Old Homestead Property) located adjacent to Sstation 1 on Route 50.
Numerous additional approvals will have to be obtained such as SEQRA (State Environment Quality Review Act), DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation), DOT (State Department of Transportation) and Saratoga County Highway Department before it is brought back to the Board of Commissioners for formal approval.
If approved by the commissioners, a referendum will be prepared and a vote will be taken by the residents of the fire district. This will only proceed if the referendum is passed by a majority of the fire district taxpayers.
With that proposal, CVS requested from the fire district an easement to the south of the firehouse to allow access from Route 50 to the new facility. In return for that easement, which would continue to be owned by the fire district, CVS would give to the district additional land, and provide for land and building improvements along with a monetary contribution.
Secondly, the Board of Commissioners has formed a building committee, which is actively engaged in developing a plan to replace its current Station No. 2, located on the corner of Charlton and Hopcity Roads, at a new location. That current station presently has a number of inefficiencies that make it difficult to function, and the safety of the firefighters is of major concern.
In the event that the CVS proposal is approved by the voters of the fire district, the board will use those funds to reduce the costs for the proposed relocated Station No. 2.
The Board of Fire Commissioners will continue to inform the public of the progress and information will be posted on the district’s website. All are welcome to attend any of the board’s meetings, which are held every second Tuesday of the month at Station 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Additionally, you can also send comments to the district’s website (burnthillsfd.com).
The writer is the chairman and the letter was endorsed by the
Board of Fire Commissioners Burnt Hills Fire District.