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Call 518-439-9973. If it is an emergency requiring immediate attention (for example, an animal’s safety is in immediate danger), tell the dispatcher. A call will be put into our system and the police and animal control will be dispatched. Animal control is not always on duty but can follow up if necessary.
If it is obstructing traffic, the police or animal control can move it. If the animal is a deer, call 518-439-9973 and tell the dispatcher of its location so they can notify the correct town, county or state highway for removal. If not in the way, nature can take its course and it will disappear. If the animal really has to be removed, call 518-439-9973 and assistance from animal control or town highway can be sent. Albany County Department of Health recommends dead animals found in peoples' yards can be buried (at least three feet deep) or double bagged and put in the trash. NYSDOH does not want to test animals unless there is a human exposure.
Never try to care for a wild animal yourself, always contact a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. Several local veterinarians handle some injured wildlife but call first.
To report a lost animal, call the Bethlehem Police at 439-9973. The fastest and easiest way to get your pet back to you is to have it licensed (dogs) and/or give it identification via a micro-chip and tag, collar, etc. Please note that dogs seized and impounded by the town are no longer taken to Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. When searching for a lost animal and after contacting the Bethlehem Police, please also think about how close you live to one (or more) of the town's borders. If you think it is possible your animal wandered into another jurisdiction, contact them as well: Albany, 518-434-5091; Coeymans, 518-756-2059; Guilderland, 518-861-6855; or New Scotland, 518-475-0385; etc.
Bobcats, coyotes, fishers, foxes, birds of prey, and bears have been seen in Town, this is not unusual. The Animal Control Officer tries to monitor unusual occurrences with these animals and keep NYSDEC informed. All of these animals are under DEC's responsibility (518-357-2450) not the Town's. Under an emergency situation (as with a suspected rabid animal), the ACO or any member of the police department can take action to protect the public. The ACO advises people not to leave pets or children out unattended, not to feed pets outside, thoroughly clean grills after use, and not to leave any garbage available to attract wildlife. Cats especially should be kept indoors. Even bird feeders should not be used from early March to late November. Small children should always be under supervision.
Yes, it is the law. The New York State law regarding pet rabies immunizations applies to ferrets as well as cats and dogs. Please view the Albany County Department of Health’s Rabies Clinic Schedule. For more information about the law, visit the Albany County Department of Health’s web pages.
Please call 518-439-9973. The town currently has no contract with a shelter or similar facility.
There are a number of reputable rescue groups and shelters in our area. Use the internet to find information on breeds, their adult sizes, care, feeding, and projected costs including veterinary. Once you are sure your household is all in agreement about a new pet, there are a number of good sources of information regarding pet adoptions. These sites can further educate you before you adopt, allow you to search for adoptable pets, and find adoption/rescue groups in your area (search by your zip code.) Try PetFinder.com, AdoptAPet.com, ASPCA.org, Best Friends Animal Society, PetSmart Charities, AKC Rescue Network. RescueMe.org has not only has countless pets up for adoption, but also has resources available for wildlife rehabilitators/shelters. Should you need to rehome an animal, use these resources to contact area rescue groups and shelters for information and advice.
All animals will be frightened when they are not in their normal environment so take caution, for instance, wear gloves in case of scratches or nips. If you can't get the animal, try local rescue groups to see if they have a Have-A-Heart trap you could borrow. If you have a veterinarian, contact them to see if they will scan the animal for a microchip; if not, see if a local vet will perform the scan for you. Veterinarian offices would be the best first line source of information for rehoming and temporary care. After that, you can try adoption web sites to locate reputable rescue groups and shelters in our area. Use their search function along with your address/zip code to find those closest to your location and their contact information, and then start reaching out. Please note, shelters and rescues are constantly inundated so keep trying while being respectful of their situation. Consider fostering for one of them! Until you can place the animal, keep it separated from any pets you may have but keep it comfortable, fed, watered, and provided potty breaks and positive human interaction.
Try PetFinder.com, AdoptAPet.com, ASPCA.org, Best Friends Animal Society, PetSmart Charities, AKC Rescue Network. RescueMe.org has not only has countless pets up for adoption, but also has resources available for wildlife rehabilitators/shelters.
New legislation was enacted in 2016 which made changes to the STAR program. Homeowners who purchased their homes after March 1, 2015 and/or those applying for a new STAR applicants after March 1, 2015 must register with NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. To register for the STAR credit, go to https://www.tax.ny.gov/star/. If you have questions, please call NYSDTF at 518-457-2036.
Surveys are filed in the Albany County Clerk’s Office, 16 Eagle St Rm 128 Albany, NY 12207. Surveys are filed by map and drawer numbers that are shown on the deed. To obtain a copy of your survey, contact the County Records Department at 518-487-5120. You may also submit a Freedom of Information request to the Town Clerk of Bethlehem asking for a copy of your survey. If your survey is on record and you have indicated that you would like a copy, you will be charged a fee of $0.25 per page for each copy produced.
Deeds are also stored by Albany County and can be searched online at https://www.albanycounty.com/government/county-clerk/services/online-records-search.
Neither Spectrum nor Verizon FiOS offer a discount to senior subscribers. This decision was not one that the town was in agreement with, but it was nonnegotiable at the time the agreements were finalized.
There are a couple of reasons why this would be impossible. The first relates to “level playing field” rules. When the Verizon contract expires in 2021, they cannot be compelled to be at a financial disadvantage to Spectrum whose agreement doesn’t expire until 2024. Both contracts must be comparable in terms of requirements on the cable provider. The second is that towns do not have the leverage that one might expect in a renegotiation situation. The plant is built and customers are already serviced. Should the town attempt to deny service to a cable provider, thousands of residents/customers could lose service. Since that can’t happen, the town is over a barrel. The cable provider understands this, as does the NYS regulatory authority, the Public Service Commission (“PSC”). If the Town can’t come to a resolution with the cable provider, a Temporary Order of Authority (“TOA”) is issued every 6 months by the PSC until a new agreement can be worked out. We have seen TOAs issued for over 20 years to one municipality.
A Comprehensive Plan is a guidance document that sets goals, policies, and priorities for investing in the physical, economic, and environmental future of our Town.
Comprehensive Plans typically address a wide range of issues that are important to residents and business leaders. Bethlehem’s current Comprehensive Plan provides an overall vision for our hamlets and our town as a whole, with key priorities and strategies for achieving that vision. It provides direction to the Town for investing in transportation improvements and public facilities, revising or creating new zoning regulations, protecting ecologically-sensitive areas, becoming more environmentally sustainable, and recommending issues for further study. Concept plans and other visuals within the Comprehensive Plan help demonstrate ideas and hoped-for outcomes.
Updating Comprehensive Plans allows communities to refresh the overall vision and update priorities and strategies in light of changing conditions, new challenges, and experience implementing the previous plan.
The most recent Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Town Board in 2005. It can be downloaded from the Economic Development and Planning Department’s Planning Division web pages at Comprehensive Plan.
The 2005 Comprehensive Plan provides a vision up to year 2020, which is just around the corner. As Bethlehem continues to grow, we want to establish our vision for the town over the next 15 to 20 years.
The Update is anticipated to focus more deeply into several issue areas, including transportation and traffic, open space conservation, the character of residential neighborhoods, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
Yes, this will be our first comprehensive Update. That said, progress reports were completed in 2007 and 2013, so this will not be the first time the Comprehensive Plan has been reviewed. The 2005 Comprehensive Plan recommended that, within 5 to 10 years of its adoption, a progress report be produced to assess the degree to which the plan recommendations had been implemented and to identify possible topics and areas that should be revisited and updated.
The Update process is expected to take 12-18 months to complete. To stay informed and learn about ways to participate:
You can share your ideas and more at community forums and by sending emails to BethlehemForward@townofbethlehem.org . We want to hear from you!
This initiative is being directed by the Planning Department and will be guided by various Town stakeholders, including boards and committees. Through a competitive request for proposal process in the Spring 2019, the Town will hire a consulting firm to prepare the Comprehensive Plan Update.
These meetings were held in 2018 and early 2019INSERT IMAGE OF COMMUNITY FORUM SCHEDULE
As of the 2010 census, the Town of Bethlehem receives 0.17696 of the municipal share, or approximately one-sixth of one cent for every dollar spent in Albany County.
School taxes cover the billing period July 31 to June 1, and are a specific property tax billed and collected by one of three local school districts: Bethlehem Central (BCSD), Guilderland Central (GCSD), and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) to residents of the Town of Bethlehem. They are used exclusively for the benefit of the school district and the local library. This collection runs from September 1 to September 30. Payments made after this date are subject to late fees.
Visit our Tax Rates page for current rates.
In December, 2017, the Town Board approved redesigning Delaware Avenue between Elsmere Avenue and the Albany town line to have:
These features are a proven safety countermeasure to reduce the types of car accidents occurring along the road, make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and make the area more attractive to new businesses. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration strongly recommends this approach to improve traffic safety on roads with fewer than 20,000 car trips daily.
Actually, the complete streets project is not about cycling. The new traffic pattern would reduce the number of car accidents, allow pedestrians to safely cross Delaware Avenue (which they can only do now at Elsmere Avenue and Delaware Plaza – ½ mile apart), and make businesses along the corridor more accessible to customers.
The state DOT strongly advises against lowering speed limits without making physical changes to a roadway. Even with increased enforcement and education, results across New York have shown that lowering a speed limit has little effect on actual speeds, with the Cherry Ave Extension in Slingerlands and Feura Bush Rd in Glenmont as local examples. To achieve slower speeds, physical changes to the roadway are a must.
The pavement on this stretch of Delaware Ave is in bad shape, so the state DOT (who owns and manages the roadway) will need to rebuild it sooner than later. Because the road is in such poor condition and will need to be rebuilt, the Town will first upgrade the underlying water and sewer pipes, which were put in just after WWII. As such, there will be major construction on this section of Delaware Ave regardless of whether Complete Streets safety improvements are made to the roadway, sidewalks, and crosswalks. The projected start date is 2024.
One note: The Albany complete streets project included on-street parking. The Delaware Ave Complete Streets project will not add or remove on-street parking. Instead, it will create a center turn lane and wide shoulders with room for bus stops and cyclists.
Deeds are filed in the Albany County Clerk’s Office, 32 Russell Road, Albany, NY 12206-1324. Deeds are filed by liber and page numbers. To obtain a copy of your deed, contact the County Records Department at 518-487-5120. Deeds and Mortgages filed after 1980 are also available online via the County Clerk’s web site.
All full-time competitive class positions and some part-time positions have to take an exam. The Town of Bethlehem is subject to Albany County Civil Service requirements.
Albany County Civil Service administers all exams for the Town of Bethlehem. To see what exams are being given and when, please go to their website.
Please note that if you have been charged with a Vehicle & Traffic misdemeanor (i.e. 511-1A, 512 or 1212), you must appear in person for arraignment, at which time you will have an opportunity to conference the matter with a V & T Prosecutor.
IF YOU DO NOT INCLUDE ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION THIS REQUEST WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.
When you receive a ticket from any police agency (town, state, sheriff, environmental conservation), you should appear in court on the date and time indicated on the bottom portion of the motorist copy. If you have received a traffic ticket which is a misdemeanor, a personal appearance is required. These would include Vehicle and Traffic Law sections 511, 512, 319 and 1212. If you are in doubt about your particular ticket, please call the court for clarification at 518-439-4955, option 5, then option 2.
If you wish to plead guilty, please sign and date your ticket under Section A (on the back of some tickets) of the motorist copy, including any address changes, and mail to the court at the address indicated on the ticket or as above. The town justice will review your ticket and impose a fine in addition to any and all mandatory surcharges. A fine / surcharge notice will be mailed, and you will be given 21 days to submit payment. Failure to pay your fines and surcharges promptly and in full will result in the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles being notified to suspend your driving privileges, whether you live in New York State or elsewhere.
If you cannot appear at the date and time indicated on the ticket and wish to plead not guilty, please sign and date Section B, including any address changes, and mail it to the Court. You should not appear on the date on the ticket if you have mailed in a not guilty plea. In addition, if you cannot appear at the date and time issued on the ticket and do not wish to appear in person for a future court date you may follow the instructions for pleading by mail.
Call the Albany County Civil Service Department, 518-447-7770, for a test date which is usually the first Saturday in December every year.
Rechargeable batteries and vehicle batteries can be recycled at all larger businesses where they are sold per state law. The easiest places to recycle rechargeable batteries can be found by using the Call2Recycle locator at Battery and Cellphone Dropoff Locations | Call2Recycle | United States. Lowes, Staples, and WalMart in Glenmont are all included in this directory.
Batteries of all types EXCEPT non-rechargeable alkaline (please see below) may also be brought to the town’s household hazardous waste collection events in the spring and fall for recycling. Collections are listed on the Recycling Events web page.
NOTE: Alkaline batteries no longer contain mercury or cadmium. Please either tape the leads or bag them individually in ZipLock or other baggies, and then throw alkaline batteries into the regular trash. Alkaline batteries include non-rechargeable A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9 volt and 6-volt, and lantern.
As of December 2011, per the new state law, it is illegal to dispose of rechargeable batteries in the trash. All retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required to collect them for recycling. Please recycle at your choice of retailers or use the locator tool linked above.
Bring unwanted electronics to the Rupert Road Transfer Station for recycling throughout the year (fees may apply--see web page for details).
Most of these items may be brought to the town’s inter-municipal household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events, co-hosted with other municipalities in the Capital Region. For upcoming collection events, please check the recycling events page. There are also options for recycling or disposing of certain items in between HHW collection events.
Paint: Consumers and small businesses now have access to FREE and convenient post-consumer paint drop-off sites for the collection, reuse and recycling of paint products including most latex and oil paints and stains. For more details please visit: https://townofbethlehem.org/927/Paint-Drop-Off-Year-round.
Rechargeable batteries and lead acid (vehicle) batteries can be recycled at all retail stores where they are sold. Lowe's in Glenmont has an easy self-service kiosk between their double set of entrance doors near their customer service counter.
Fluorescent Bulbs and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs) can be recycled at the same kiosk mentioned above at Lowes in Glenmont as well as other retailers.
Computers, televisions, and most other electronics are NOT accepted at our HHW events any longer. They can be recycled year round at the Transfer Station on Rupert Road (fees may apply--see web page for details). Staples in Glenmont also accepts most consumer electronics (though not televisions) for free recycling. Always call ahead to confirm what items you plan to recycle.
Used motor oil can be brought to most shops that perform oil changes such as Valvoline or Jiffy Lube. Please NOTE: We no longer accept motor oil at our HHW collection events due to this easy and free alternative means of disposal. See the DEC website for more information: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8786.html.
Latex (water-based) paint is non-hazardous, and can also be dried out and disposed in the regular trash. There are low cost "paint hardener" products for waste paint available for purchase for $2 - $3 that work for 2 - 3 gallons of paint. Or mix with cat litter or sand to help soak up the liquid, remove the lid, and set it in the sun. Once completely solidified, latex paint can be disposed in the regular trash (leave the lid off to show there is no liquid paint.) Latex paint, while non-toxic, is illegal to put in the regular trash in liquid form> because it will gum up machinery and spill down the road.
That leaves items like lawn chemicals, gasoline, and certain cleaners and solvents. We recommend using or storing these items until the next event, seeing if any neighbors, co-workers or friends wish to use them, and consider less toxic alternatives the next time if possible. There now exists less toxic products for most applications, and information is available on the Internet about alternatives to pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Softcover books and phone books can be recycled in your single stream recycling can curbside, or recycled with mixed paper at the town’s Rupert Road Transfer Station. Hardcover books can be donated for reuse at our spring and fall collection events (please see events page), or given to interested neighbors through social media like Next Door or Facebook Marketplace, or Albany Craigslist.
Mercury Thermostats NYS law now requires mercury thermostats to be recycled. It is illegal to throw these highly toxic devices in the trash.
Any person, HVAC contractor, or Demolition Contractor is required to recycle all mercury thermostats removed from service—so if you’re having your old mercury thermostat replaced with a digital model, the contractor is required to recycle it for you. If you are replacing an old mercury thermostat yourself, you can take it to any of the following locations: https://thermostat-recycle.org/where-to-recycle/?zip=12054
The Town of Bethlehem accepts mercury containing thermostats and thermometers by appointment. Please call Recycling Coordinator Dan Rain at 518-439-4955 extension 1510 or email DRain@townofbethlehem.org.
Fluorescent Bulbs Spent fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) bulbs may also be brought to the town’s household hazardous waste collection events in the spring and fall for recycling. Collections are usually held the first Saturday in May and the last Saturday in September (check the town calendar on the web site) from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the town highway garage, located at: 74 Elm Ave. East Selkirk, NY 12158
NOTE: We do NOT accept fluorescent bulbs for recycling at any town locations throughout the year.
Some retail stores such as Lowes in Glenmont DO accept CFL bulbs for recycling throughout the year. Lowes in Glenmont has a convenient recycling kiosk just inside their main entrance doors for compact fluorescents as well as fluorescent tubes, and rechargeable batteries. Contact your local home improvement retailer for more details.
When transporting fluorescent bulbs for recycling, please pad them well with newspaper and/or bubble wrap to prevent breakage and place them in a tight-fitting box or bag, or their original packaging.
Clean and dry polystyrene packing peanuts and foam blocks as well, can be given to shipping companies like Corner Gateway Printing and Shipping in Slingerlands.
Alternatively, white expanded polystyrene blocks or forms that are clean and contain no paint or tape can be saved until you have a quantity, then taken to Shelter Enterprises for recycling (you can identify polystyrene as expanded foam if is composed of numerous tiny foam beads and will separate into little balls when broken apart). You may want to call ahead to confirm their hours, 518-237-4100. Shelter Enterprises is located at 8 Saratoga Street, Cohoes, NY 12047
Medical “sharps” include needles, syringes, and lancets.
Per NYS Law, ALL hospitals and nursing homes in New York State are mandated by law to accept home-generated sharps as a free, community service through their sharps collection programs
For more information including a list of other disposal sites in New York State including Albany County, please visit New York State Safe Sharps Collection Program (ny.gov)
According to several residents, St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany is a local hospital that makes medical sharps disposal easy and straightforward. To access their sharps disposal, use the "Ambulance entrance" on New Scotland Ave, follow signs to Maintenance (towards the right). Park near the loading area. There is a sign pointing at the walkway where you go to a ‘chute’ to deposit the items. Some residents have experienced a hospital maintenance employee taking their sharps for disposal when they approach that area.
Another option is to purchase an approved sharps mailing container through CVS on-line, and mail back for safe disposal. Though please be advised, in addition to the container purchase price, the reviews state that there is an additional return postage cost ($22 as of 4/2022). CVS Health Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System
The town holds a pharmaceutical collection each year. Check the Recycling Events web page for upcoming event details.
Also, CVS Pharmacy in Delmar has a secure drug disposal boxes accessible 24/7 located on the right hand wall when facing the pharmacy counter.
Residents can bring unwanted medications to all New York Police Headquarters for anonymous disposal at any time, 24/7. Troop G Headquarters is located at: 760 Troy Schenectady Road Latham, NY 12110. After entering the building, place the meds in the clear bag provided on-site, and drop it in the mailbox. For more information, call the headquarters at 518-783-3211.
Or to dispose of pharmaceuticals safely at home:
NEVER flush medications down the toilet or other drains as they can pollute drinking water and waterways.
Medications, if not properly disposed of, can fall into the wrong hands and endanger human health and our communities. If flushed down the drain or otherwise improperly discarded, they can also pollute drinking water and the environment, and further compromise human health.
As one example, a nationwide study conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found low levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80% of the rivers and streams tested.
Read more information about medication disposal.
Please see our Green Shopping and Holiday Recycling page for details
The Town of Bethlehem no longer collects school taxes. Please contact the respective school district for information regarding school taxes. School Tax payments for the residents in the Bethlehem School District are being collected by BCSD. For assistance relating to your bill, please contact the Bethlehem School Business office at 439-7481, ext 31922 or visit their website at www.bethlehemschools.org. School Tax payments for the Ravena Coeyman Selkirk School District are being collected by RCS. For questions regarding your current bill please contact them at 756-5200 ext. 6000, or visit their website at www.rcscsd.org for assistance. School Tax payments for the Guilderland Central School District are being collected by GCS. For questions regarding your current bill please contact them at 456-6200, or visit their website at www.guilderlandschools.org for assistance. Thank you.
You can view the Image Mate Online website. You can find the amounts that were paid; you don’t need an actual receipt to file your taxes.
The Town Clerk's office no longer sells fishing or hunting licenses. To find out how to obtain one, please visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/365.html.
The office is open for assistance Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and reopens from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed on holidays.
You and your healthcare provider can complete the application form MV-664.1. If the doctor gives a prescription slip with diagnosis, the form can be filled out at our office for issuance of permit.
You also can have your healthcare provider complete a statement on their letterhead. The statement must describe the disabling condition and verify that the disability qualifies according to the law. Bring the form or statement to our office.
If you have a New York driver's license, you will also need to present the license when obtaining the permit at the office.
A mail-in form can be picked up at either the town clerk’s office, on the table outside our office in the hallway or online on the Albany County web site. The form is to be completed and mailed to Albany County Board of Elections at the address specified on the form.
The application form can be picked up at either the town clerk’s office, on the table outside our office in the hallway or online on the Albany County web site. The form is to be completed and mailed to Albany County Board of Elections at the address specified on the form.
You may use the utility "Find My Polling Place" on the Albany County Board of Elections website or call their offices at 518-487-5060 for the most current information.
The person wishing to obtain a certificate of residency must provide proof of residency one year in New York State and six months in Albany County. The proof can be a New York driver’s license issued more than one year ago, car registration issued more than one year ago, high school transcript, bank statement, or other proof. One form should be a picture identification.