Rotterdam will adopt a budget and introduce a solar moratorium on Friday

ROTTERDAM — Lawmakers are expected to give the final say on a $27.7 million spending plan on Friday and introduce legislation that would impose a one-year moratorium on solar panels.

Spending under the proposed 2023 operating budget would be cut by 1%, keep the tax levy flat for residents and commercial owners, and reduce water and sewer rates across the board.

A public hearing was held last week regarding the proposed spending plan, which has been worked out in recent weeks in a series of meetings.

Under the proposed spending plan, homeowners would pay $4.25 per $1,000 of land value, while commercial landlords would pay $8.26 per $1,000 of land value. If approved, the budget would mark the first time in years that taxes in Rotterdam have not risen.

The spending plan uses millions in fund balance reserves to help offset costs and reduce water and sewer rates across the board, and it includes $243,750 in fund balance to pay a settlement with ViaPort on a canceled lease agreement that would have moved operations from the city to the mall. mall.

Lawmakers originally approved the deal last year and voted to pay a $1 million security deposit using federal coronavirus relief dollars, but a new slate of city council members during a 3-0 vote, decided to cancel the lease due to a procedural problem earlier. This year.

Board member Samantha Miller-Herrera abstained from voting and Evan Christou was not present – both were on the previous city council that agreed to the deal.

The proposed spending plan includes $3.7 million in sales tax revenue from the project, an increase of 2.8% over the current spending year.

The authorities have also earmarked millions of dollars in combined funding for its general and road funds, as well as its various water and sewer districts, to reduce water rates.

Expenses were also cut, including reducing the building department’s building repair line from $1.5 million to $15,000. The decline was made possible by the cancellation of the ViaPort deal, for which the money was set aside.

Additionally, lawmakers will introduce legislation establishing a 12-month moratorium on solar panels following public outcry over a 20-megawatt panel project along Sandborn Road.

About half a dozen residents last week urged lawmakers to implement the moratorium to craft new regulations that align with a comprehensive plan the city is expected to adopt in the coming weeks that calls for preservation of natural and agricultural land.

East Light Partners of Massachusetts has submitted plans to build the Sandborn Road solar array, which requires the clearing of 150 of more than 450 acres of land.

It’s unclear when the city is expected to adopt the moratorium. On Friday, lawmakers will hold a Dec. 14 public hearing on the bill, which must take place before the legislation is passed.

Friday’s meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 1100, boul. Sunrise.

Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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Categories: New, New, rotterdam, Schenectady County

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