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What you need to know for 11/19/2017

$4.8 million airport runway project planned

$4.8 million airport runway project planned

Schenectady County approves project
$4.8 million airport runway project planned
Inside a hangar at Schenectady County Airport.
Photographer: Daily Gazette file photo

GLENVILLE — Helped by funding from the U.S. Air Force, Schenectady County is planning a $4.8 million resurfacing of the main runway at the county airport next year.

The county Legislature, meeting Tuesday in Schenectady, approved a funding package for the project, which will also upgrade lighting along the airport's main 7,000-foot runway, which is used by the C-130 aircraft that fly out of Stratton Air National Guard Base, located on the east side of the airport property.

The U.S. Department of Defense is putting up $1.35 million of the cost, with the Federal Aviation Administration contributing $3.1 million. New York state and Schenectady County will each put up $172,500 toward the project.

The Legislature separately approved a $192,000 project to design improvements for a 2,200-foot taxiway that connects the air base to the main runway. The FAA is paying about 90 percent of the cost.

"These runway and taxiway projects are great examples of all levels of government working together to improve our airport and continue the momentum we're created within the Airport Business Park," said Legislator Rory Fluman, D-Scotia, chairman of the Committee on Intergovernmental Cooperation.

Both projects are expected to go out to bid this winter, with construction anticipated in 2018.

The runway is used by the Air National Guard and also by commercial aviation, including an air ambulance service that is based at the airport. The airport is busy enough to have a staffed control tower, though it doesn't have commercial airline service.

In other business at Tuesday's meeting:

— The Legislature declared that there will be no negative environmental impact from $600,000 in planned safety and trail improvements at the Plotter Kill Preserve in Rotterdam. The declaration clears the way for work at the county-owned preserve to start this fall.

The safety improvements will address some of the risks at the 632-acre nature preserve, where trails follow deep ravines past three waterfalls. A Clifton Park teenager died after a fall in 2015 and emergency response volunteers often have to conduct rescues there. The most recent was Monday afternoon, with the person who fell not seriously injured. The improvements will include stable viewing platforms for the main waterfalls and emergency access improvements.

— The board also found no negative environmental impacts from the planned $2 million replacement of the Mont Pleasant Library on Crane Street in Schenectady. The county is currently reviewing demolition bids for the old library, with that work expected to occur this winter.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, swilliams@dailygazette.net or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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