RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A city caught in financial trouble might finally be able to turn it around.
The city or Rensselaer desperately needs to grow its tax base, and a partnership with a booming industry may be the answer. The city was hoping to win one of the upstate casino bids but lost to the city of Schenectady.
“Didn’t come through,” Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer said. “We got to move on. That’s what we’re doing right now.”
With infrastructure repairs mounting and the tax cap nearly reached. Rensselaer is in desperate need of revenue. But a partnership with SUNY Polytechnic Institute could be the answer they’ve been looking for.
“This is going to be a great attraction, and this is going to put Rensselaer on the map,” Dwyer said.
The SUNY Polytechnic Institute president and CEO toured de Laet’s Landing in Rensselaer. He believed it might be the perfect spot for a partnership.
“It’s perfect for us,” Dwyer said. “We’re a small city, and this is a real boom for us.”
The partnership could bring two private manufacturing companies that would work hand in hand with SUNY’s poly tech school. There could also be new classrooms, high-tech research and development space, and partnerships with the local school district.
“We’re on that river, and people want to be on that river and live on that river,” Dwyer said. “This is where it’s going to be happening.”
de Laet’s Landing is the site that Rensselaer was betting on getting a casino. But with the nanoscale industry just beginning to boom, Dwyer believes this partnership is a sure bet.
“I’m very optimistic that this will be even better,” he said.
While plans aren’t final, Dwyer believes if the partnership moves forward, it could mean a new beginning for Rensselaer.
“The main thing is it gives us the thrust to keep going and develop the waterfront,” he said.
Workers from SUNY Poly Tech plan to meet with city workers next week to begin discussing the opportunities, but the SUNY Poly Tech president said Tuesday he is fully committed to working with Rensselaer to get properties back on the tax roll.