While the new Glendale Nursing Home will not likely be built in the land adjacent to the Indian Kill Nature Preserve, some Glenville residents are trying to make sure the debate doesn’t even come up again.
Last week Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature, Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, announced that the new Glendale facility wouldn’t be in the field adjacent to the Indian Kill Nature Preserve or on what is known as the “Glenville sledding hill” due to inadequate space and difficult and costly engineering challenges.
The newly formed community group Preserve the Field at Indian Kill held a meeting at the Glenville Municipal Center on Monday, Aug. 30, to address the issue of trying to designate the adjacent field and hill as open space or forever wild. Politicians in attendance, while supporting the designation, also focused on the issue of transparency surrounding the nursing home project. The meeting was well attended by residents.
“Although the town doesn’t have a lot of say in the process, as we’ve learned, we can do all we can to try and keep the lines of communication open with our county officials,” said Republican Glenville Town Supervisor Christopher Koetzle. “We do need to protect our open spaces. That is something I know as a board we believe in very strongly.”
GOP county legislators Jim Buhrmaster and Bob Farley, as well as Assemblyman Jim Tedisco and Sen. Hugh Farley attended the meeting. Savage said she was never invited to meeting.
“I think the train was going down the tracks, and the only reason it didn’t go through is because of all of you in this room,” said Buhrmaster. “We have not asked that one simple elementary question: Should we have a nursing home?”
Sen. Farley congratulated residents for their involvement in the project.
“In all the years I’ve been in government, I’ve never been prouder of my constituents than what you are doing right now,” said Sen. Farley. “What you’re doing is incredible, and a lot more has to be done, and there needs to be a lot more openness.”
Bob Farley said even though Savage said it is not going to be built on the contested land, there is still a chance it could be. The original $50 million bond issuance clearly states the home is to be built on the Hetcheltown Road location. In the resolution issuing the bond, it was said ground would be broken by September, but the county recently has stated this will not happen.
Tedisco stressed that open spaces need to be protected in Schenectady County and surrounding areas.
“The space you saw today at the Indian Kill are few and far between in Schenectady County,” said Tedisco referring to the slideshow presentation put together by the community group.
Tedisco said development shouldn’t occur on wildlife land, but land that can be developed and redeveloped.
“Right now we’ve got to protect that land for our children’s, children’s children,” said Tedisco. “There is no amount of money that can bring that back.”
The Republicans urged the community group to start a new petition to preserve the contested land. If the contested parcel does acquire a parkland designation then it cannot be taken away without a full vote form the entire state legislature, said Tedisco.
Sen. Farley said a lot of counties are getting out of the nursing home business and are moving it to the private sector out of economic concerns.
When contacted about the neighbors’ concerns, Savage said, “I look forward to meeting with the residents to talk about their ideas and concerns.”