Schenectady County Proposes Extension of Lease at Stratton Air Guard Base

May 27, 2010

Schenectady, N.Y. — Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan E. Savage said today that she will ask the County Legislature at its June meeting to approve an extension in the Air Force’s lease at the Schenectady County Airport through 2060 as part of an ongoing effort to protect missions and jobs at the Stratton Air Guard Base.  The County’s current lease with the Air Force runs until 2042.

“Our top priority in Schenectady County is jobs.  The Air Base in Glenville is one our largest employers with 1,300 jobs and a $123 million annual economic impact,” said Susan E. Savage, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “To keep these jobs well into the future, we are asking the County Legislature to extend our lease with the Air Force through 2060.”

The Stratton Air National Guard Base is home to the 109th Airlift of the New York Air National Guard. The base plays a key role in strategic airlift for military units using its fleet of 14 LC-130 aircraft.  The 109th also provides airlift for the National Science Foundation’s research work in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.  The 109th Airlift Wing has the only ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft in the Air Force inventory.

Chair Savage added, “We understand and support the fact that the military wants to make sure that the lease term is long enough to protect the federal government’s investment.  The new 50 year term provides the lease term needed to keep this base competitive.”

The County leases over 110 acres to the military for $1 per year.  The County recoups part of the cost of operating the County Airport through a joint-use agreement and tower agreement with the Air Force that net the County over $500,000 per year. The base through direct employment and expenditures creates an annual economic impact of more than $123 million.

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commitment voted unanimously to retain all 14 LC-130 aircraft and support personnel at the Glenville base.

The Schenectady County Airport is also home to a new $20 million Naval Reserve Center that is home to more than 500 guard and reserve personnel.

Schenectady County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning works closely with the Schenectady Military Affairs Council (SMAC) to retain missions and jobs at military facilities located here.  SMAC is operated by the Chamber of Schenectady County.

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