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Schenectady OKs demolition contracts for houses

Schenectady OKs demolition contracts for houses

Downtown Improvement Corp. expansion headed to vote
Schenectady OKs demolition contracts for houses
Jim Salengo of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation stands in Little Italy on Jay Street on July 16.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY — Nine more derelict buildings are slated to come down in the city. 

The City Council’s Development & Planning Committee approved two separate demolition bids totaling $290,000 on Monday. 

Schenectady-based Jackson Demolition split its proposed bid into two batches for the following properties:

  • 873 Strong St.
  • 511 Schenectady St.
  • 869 Emmett St.
  • 492 Hulett St.
  • 1023 Bridge St.
  • 821 Congress St.
  • 2022 William St.
  • 934 Davis Terrace
  • 930 Davis Terrace

Costs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program.

If approved by the full City Council on Tuesday, Mayor Gary McCarthy said he would "sign legislation and then work to get them down quick.”

DOWNTOWN BUSINESS EXPANSION

Lawmakers on Monday indicated they’re primed to move ahead with a vote to expand the boundaries of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC).

As part of their first expansion since 1978, DSIC aims to add Broadway from Clinton Street to the I-890 overpass; Erie Boulevard from Union Street to the Nott Street traffic circle, and Little Italy. 

Expansion requires a simple majority vote by City Council next Tuesday. 

Several business owners in Little Italy previously have expressed concerns over how the expansion would relate to the city’s plans to better integrate the neighborhood with downtown. 

The city has said those efforts hinge on an outstanding application for $10 million in state grants. 

Roie Angerami, co-owner of Civitello’s Italian Pastry Shoppe, said she can't speak on behalf of the entire neighborhood, but she's in favor of the expansion. 

Operations for the service area, which is formally known as the Downtown Special Assessment District, are funded in part by business owners, who pay an average of $295 annually. 

"I think it's perfect for us," Angerami said, citing the advertising benefits. "I'm going to go with it."

CCA UPDATE

Also headed to a vote next Tuesday is whether the City Council will move forward with a community choice aggregation program, or CCA, for bulk energy purchasing. 

Under a CCA, National Grid would continue to be responsible for delivery, maintenance and power outage problems. 

Administrators would shop around for the lowest-cost energy supplier, which supporters believe will result in overall cost-savings for consumers. Residents could continue to buy energy from National Grid.

The energy supply itself could shift from natural gas to renewables, a measure which buoys green energy advocates. 

Lawmakers on Monday passed out of committee a resolution to authorize the full City Council to vote on enabling legislation that would authorize city officials to select a provider. 

“Unless you have a local law, it’s not an option,” said city Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico. 

Two providers previously pitched City Council: Good Energy and Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance. 

Falotico said he will research whether City Council will retain the decision to select the providers, or if it falls under the mayor’s authority. 

BUDGET REVIEW ONGOING

City Council will hold public budget review sessions Oct. 16, 17, 21 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 110 at City Hall. 

McCarthy released his proposed $89.4 million spending plan last week. 

City Council has until Nov. 1 to adopt the 2020 budget. 

A public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the regular City Council meeting. 

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