Key Issues

Effective and Actionable

  • Reduced Taxes Four Years in a Row
  • Combating Blight & Distressed Properties
  • Neighborhood Revitalization/HOMES Program
  • Schenectady’s Renaissance – Expansive Economic Development
  • Climate Change/Clean Energy and the Smart Cities Initiatives

The City of Schenectady has made great progress in recent years and I would like to
sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to our ongoing revitalization.

Four Consecutive Property Tax Cuts (2015-2019)

  • The City of Schenectady has cut the Property Tax Rate four years in a row.
  • The Property Tax Rate has been reduced 6.5% since 2015.
  • The 2019 Property Tax Rate is $12.98 / $1,000 Assessed Value.
  • The 2015 Property Tax Rate was $13.88 / $1,000 Assessed Value.
  • The City received an A rating from S&P Global Ratings in May of 2018.

Improving Our Neighborhoods

  • The City’s award-winning HOMES Program (Home ownership Made Easy in
    Schenectady) had its most successful year ever in 2018. City-owned property sales
    reached an all-time record with more city-owned properties sold in 2018 than any year in history.
  • In 2018, the City of Schenectady sold 146 city-owned properties for total gross revenue of $2.43 million.
  • The City sold 111 properties, for a total of $1.74 million in gross revenue, and 89 city owned properties, for a total of $1.67 million in gross revenue, in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
  • Eastern Avenue Revitalization Initiative: $19 million project for 25 apartments at the
    former St. Mary’s School along with 30 new apartments with commercial space on Irving
    Street. The City of Schenectady and Key Bank also announced a $250,000 grant for
    Better Neighborhoods, Inc. (BNI) for their Eastern Avenue revitalization initiative.
  • Grand Opening of the new Tribute Park & Splash Pad with the Capital Region Land Bank.
  • Yates Village: The Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority (SMHA) began their $24
    million Phase One revitalization and improvement of Yates Village.
  • New Boys & Girls Club: Construction has begun on the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady’s 39,000 sq. ft.,
    $13 million facility at Quackenbush Park. This state-of-the art facility will be able to serve hundreds of students from several local schools.
  • Grand Opening of the new Hillside View on Craig Street in Hamilton Hill. This $22
    million investment combines the rehabilitation of the historic Horace Mann and St.
    Columba schools with the construction of eight new buildings on nearby parcels of land
    to create 58 affordable apartments. The development includes a Community Service
    Facility that will serve as a neighborhood hub for residents and the surrounding community.
  • In Mont Pleasant, the recently announced $460,749 grant award for the Crane Street
    Corridor Improvement Program with Better Neighborhoods Inc. will allow for façade
    enhancements and revitalization of nine buildings in the Crane Street commercial
    corridor through the New York Main Street Program.
  • Craig Street – Main Avenue ‘Complete Streets’ Linkage Study: $90,000 from the
    City and the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) to draft a detailed master
    plan for future engineering and construction projects in the Hamilton Hill and Mont
    Pleasant neighborhoods. The study will focus primarily on the entire Craig Street – Main
    Avenue corridor, linking Albany Street in Hamilton Hill to Crane Street in Mont
    Pleasant, a distance of 0.9 miles. The result will better position this corridor to receive
    additional federal and state infrastructure funding.
  • Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA): In 2019 the City’s Department of
    Development will work with HUD to designate a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy
    Area (NRSA) to allow the City to target CDBG funding in a defined geographic area by
    creating greater flexibility in the Public Services category. The proposed NRSA
    encompasses three US Census Tracts in the Eastern Avenue, Hamilton Hill, and Vale
    neighborhoods. This allows for greater flexibility in the CDBG Public Services Category,
    such as health care, child care, job training, education, addiction treatment, senior
    services, and fair housing.
  • Oak Street Bridge Opening: In August, the City officially reopened the Oak Street
    Bridge, which serves as a vital link between the Mont Pleasant and Bellevue
    neighborhoods. The bridge was closed to traffic while undergoing a five-year $1.75
    million repair project.
  • The Broadway and Guilderland Avenue Paving Project is scheduled to begin in April 2019.
  • BRIDGE NY: The City of Schenectady was awarded $3.3 million from the Department
    of Transportation to improve and repair the Hulett Street Bridge.
  • New North Ferry Street Pump Station: Significant $12 million project with funding
    from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Governor’s Office
    of Storm Recovery (GOSR).
  • FEMA Stockade Flood Mitigation Grant Program: $8.6 million project that will
    evaluate the causes of flooding in the Stockade neighborhood, evaluate flood reduction
    options, and work with the community to implement the best practicable mitigation
    alternative.
  • Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge: In partnership with The Schenectady Foundation,
    this creative new initiative engages residents and community organizations to come
    forward with their best ideas for improving their neighborhood. The community put
    forward 48 proposals for Round One, 17 of which were then reviewed by Thriving
    Neighborhoods Committee during Phase Two. An announcement of the winning
    proposals is coming very soon – stay tuned!

Economic Opportunity Workforce Initiative:
Led by the City’s Affirmative Action Officer Ron Gardner, two programs work cohesively by connecting
low-income students in a Craft Skills Job Training Program with small and emerging construction firms
participating in a Construction Management Training Program. The project has served 25
low-income individuals, including 14 female trainees, in two sessions. Participants
received their OSHA 10, OSHA 30, and NCCER certifications, many of whom have
already entered into pre-apprenticeship programs or have found employment in the industry.

National Grid REV Demonstration Project
In June, National Grid and the City of Schenectady received approval from the Public
Service Commission (PSC) to begin the Smart City REV Demonstration Project. Under this
joint-initiative and over a three-year period, National Grid will replace approximately 4,200
high-pressure sodium streetlights across the entire city with advanced LED lights.
In November, National Grid replaced 18 of these high-pressure sodium streetlights with
the new energy-efficient LED lights on Union Street in the Stockade between North College
Street and Washington Avenue. The new LED streetlights include two distinct lighting
temperatures. Half of these 18 lights are soft-white (3000 kelvin) and the other half are daylight
temperature (4000 kelvin) bulbs.

National Grid and the City will soon be issuing a community survey for all local
residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to gather feedback from the community on
LED color preference and to use this guidance as a model for the rest of the city-wide
deployment. The City will also be hosting neighborhood meetings and informational sessions to
gather additional feedback. The survey will be made available online and a link will be provided
on the City’s website at: CityofSchenectady.com/SmartLighting.

The Renaissance of Downtown
The City held a grand-opening in October for the new $22 million Amtrak Train Station.
The architecture of this modern rail station was inspired by the former 1910 Union Station and
highlights the rich history of the Electric City.

In 2018, revenue continued to increase from the new Rivers Casino, and Mohawk Harbor
hosted their new Harbor Jam weekly concert series at the new waterfront amphitheater. There
were also grand-openings for several new Downtown businesses such as Bluebird, Clinton Street
Mercantile, Daley’s on Yates, The Fitzgerald Building, The Foster Building, Jay Street Pub,
Malcolm’s, and The Union Inn.

In 2019, Downtown Schenectady will welcome The Whistling Kettle on Jay Street, and
also the completion of the significant Mill Lane project on Lower State Street, which will include
Frog Alley Brewing, Bountiful Bread, and the Electric City Apartments.

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