GLENVILLE -- The town should explore its options for a new Town Hall and a senior citizen center in 2019, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said Wednesday in his State of the Town address.
"We are currently exploring our options for a new facility that will improve safety and increase the efficiency of our operations," he said, speaking to about 40 people gathered at Town Hall.
Doing something about the aging Glenridge Road building, which includes town offices, the police station and courts, was also a goal in 2018. Last year, a study determined renovating the structure to meet town needs would cost $6 million. The year also saw the village of Scotia determine it was not interested in developing a shared municipal building near the town-village line.
Assuming a new Town Hall includes the police station, the town has a $1.5 million station improvement grant, awarded in 2017, for that portion of the project, Koetzle noted.
"Our current Town Hall is inadequate, outdated and does not meet our needs," Koetzle said. "Now that we have a clear path forward, we will finally make a decision which will either result in siting and building a new Town Hall or lead to large renovations of our current building. We will finally make a decision on a path forward."
A new building could also include a new senior citizen center to replace the current facility on Worden Road.
The town will also keep pursuing plans for a police training facility, including a firearms training range, even though plans for a the range at the old town landfill site on Barhydt Road were dropped last year amid neighborhood opposition.
"In 2019, we are committed to providing our officers with a training facility that includes a dedicated gun range for them, and we will continue to work with our fire departments on siting a training center that will assist in their training needs," Koetzle said.
He said the town should make a $560,000 investment in Maalwyck Park on Route 5 this year. That work will include construction of a new pavilion, playground, bathrooms and concession stand, and he hopes for progress on plans for a townwide pedestrian trail system.
The Glenridge Road path, planned for a section of road between the Town Center area and the Woodhaven neighborhood, was started in the fall near the Town Center. It will be finished this year and the town will look for funding partners to redevelop a run-down section of trail between Collins Park in Scotia and Freeman's Bridge Road, which could potentially let residents reach a Schenectady link to the planned statewide Empire State Trail.
Both paths are part of a larger plan to link the entire town with pedestrian paths.
"Our vision is to connect our neighborhoods to our commercial neighborhoods to our parks with pedestrian-friendly paths," Koetzle said.
He said this year's projects should be done without a significant impact on taxpayers. Since he became supervisor a decade ago, he said, town debt has been reduced from $23 million to $13 million, and millions have been set aside in capital improvement and debt reserve accounts.
"After 10 years of this 'sure and steady' approach, we are stronger, more stable and ready to meet the needs of the next 10 years with little to no impact on taxpayers," Koetzle said.