Schenectady County, N.Y. — Schenectady County and the Town of Rotterdam completed the purchase of the former Bobby’s Auto Service site earlier this week. The property is located at 1220 Main Street in Rotterdam Junction, N.Y.
“Schenectady County is very pleased to work with Rotterdam to buy the former Bobby’s Auto Service site as part of ongoing efforts to protect the Great Flats Aquifer,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This is a great way to start the year as nothing is more important to our future than safeguarding our fantastic water supply.”
“We appreciate the willingness of the Young family to work cooperatively with the Town and the County to put this site into public ownership so we can continue to protect the aquifer,” said Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone. Rotterdam is very proud of its high-quality water and this purchase helps us to make sure that our water supply stays clean and safe for future generations to enjoy. My thanks to the Town Board, Town Attorney and Metroplex for helping us get this important property acquisition completed.”
The property was purchased for $90,000. The Town paid $75,000 and Metroplex paid $15,000. The Town will be reimbursed $48,750 from a State grant that was awarded through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program.
The former Bobby’s Auto Service has been vacant for many years. The site is located in Aquifer Protection Zone 1 which limits land use to the production of drinking water from wells. The service station was located at the site prior to the adoption of measures to protect the wells. The Town of Rotterdam well fields are located immediately behind the property. Acquiring the former service station and cleaning up the site has long been a goal of the Intermunicipal Water Protection Board.
Now that acquisition is complete, the Town and Metroplex will work together to demolish the service station and clean up the site with the goal of creating a public greenspace at the property.
In 2017, the former L&M Motel, also located close to aquifer wellfields in Rotterdam, was acquired through foreclosure and was demolished using funding from Schenectady County, Metroplex, the County’s Capital Resource Corporation and the Capital Region Land Bank. A $15 million federally funded clean-up of the former Scotia Navy Depot was also completed last year to protect Schenectady County’s water supply.
The Great Flats Aquifer provides about 25 million gallons a day of high-quality water to residents and businesses in Schenectady County. The aquifer is so robust that approvals are in place to draw another 30 million gallons per day from the system if needed. Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “Companies such as Adirondack Beverages, BelGioioso and others have repeatedly pointed to our water supply as a key factor in locating new production facilities here. Just recently our successful efforts to recruit PiSA Biopharm to Rotterdam creating 100 jobs was dependent in part on the quality of our water. Metroplex is pleased to continue to support efforts to protect this abundant, high-quality water supply as a key economic development tool.”
Joe McQueen, Director of Communications