GLENVILLE -- The power poles that towered over the ornamental town clock at the heart of the Glenville Town Center are finally gone, and the upgrades to and beautification of the town's commercial corridor are nearly done.
National Grid last week removed the poles and their braces, shifting their power to a new power line located just east of the First National Bank of Scotia and giving better exposure to the town clock. The move also clears the way for the imminent planting of a holiday evergreen on the bank's park-like lawn at the southeast corner of state Route 50 and Glenridge Road.
"We've been working on this for probably three years, and yes, it's finally done," Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said on Monday.
The planting of the tree, along with the opening of the new Glenridge Road off-road recreation trail, marks the end of a years-long town and state effort to beautify the Route 50 commercial corridor and give the Town Center a sense of place. The half-mile-long trail was recently completed at a cost of $192,000.
To persuade the utilities to relocate the power line, the town had to reimburse Spectrum about $30,000 and National Grid about $21,000. In addition, since the town is paying only a fraction of the cost of the work, all of National Grid's Glenville residential and commercial customers will also pay a one-time charge of about $2 on their bills -- but the change is worth it, according to Koetzle.
"It helps us define the Town Center, and First National Bank is going to be planting a tree that will grow to 20 feet or so and can be decorated at holiday time, and Metroplex is going to help us with some other beautification costs," Koetzle said, referring to the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority. "The bank has been a tremendous partner to us."
The town clock and a community message board were installed in 2016 as part of a $2.5 million complete streets and community beautification project. Also installed were sidewalks throughout the commercial corridor and ornamental Victorian-style street lights. Part of that work included widening the Glenridge Road-Route 50 intersection, and when National Grid replaced utility poles affected by that work, wooden braces were added that further dwarfed the clock -- work that happened without the town's advance knowledge.
During the road-widening project, a large pine that stood at Route 50 and Glenridge was removed, and that's when town officials made plans for the decorative cloc, as a new focus of the Town Center. "The new poles messed up what we were trying to do there," Koetzle said.
Town officials immediately complained to the utility, which led to negotiations. It wasn't until October 2018 that National Grid agreed to relocate the poles, and it has taken since then to coordinate scheduling for the removal.