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Colonie Town Supervisor Optimistic For 2020

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Lucas Willard
/
WAMC

Democratic Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan gave an optimistic State of the Town address this morning.

Paula Mahan is now in her 13th year as Town Supervisor in the Albany County suburb of Colonie. After narrowly defeating Republican George Scaringe in November, Mahan has a positive outlook for her seventh term.

“Our neighborhoods are safe, our businesses are thriving, and our community is active and involved. People genuinely care about Colonie. They want to live here, work here, and do business here. All of this puts us in a great position in the future.”

Speaking at an Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber breakfast at the Red Lion Hotel, Mahan said violent crime is down in the town of more than 80,000 for the second year running.

“Public Safety has always been one of my top priorities. It will always be at the top of my list.”

Mahan said police and EMS staffing are at their highest levels ever. In 2019, Chris Kostyun was sworn in as the town’s new EMS chief following the retirement of Chief Peter Berry.

The town received state funding that was ushered by fellow Democrats Assemblyman Phil Steck and Senator Neil Breslin for a new mobile command post, an ambulance, and a municipal training center.

Mahan said that since 2014, the town has seen $40 million in drinking water upgrades. The town of Colonie in 2019 established an emergency water connection with the City of Albany.

On energy, Mahan outlined two initiatives that she estimates could save the town millions: a 20-year agreement to purchase hydro-electric power.

“The New York Power Authority estimates our 25-year savings at $12.2 million. Plus, we reduce our CO2 emissions by about 1,107 tons a year, every year, going forward,” said Mahan.

And buying street lights from National Grid and converting them to efficient LED lighting.

On large development projects, 2019 saw construction of the new Ayco headquarters, which Mahan said will provide a template for upgrades along the Route 9R corridor. Coliseum Drive, a long-planned connector road between Routes 9 and 9R was also finally completed.

Another one of her top projects since taking office, Mahan is looking forward to the redevelopment of the former Tobin’s First Prize packing plant.

“This is a very long-termed, phased out project. It’s very large, very difficult – that’s why it’s taken so long to attract developers to that particular sight. But the plans look beautiful and it’s going to be a really great asset in the future of Colonie,” said Mahan.

Another long-awaited project that came to fruition in 2019 was the Adirondack Northway Exit 3.

With more upgrades planned for town parks, the renovation at the historic Pruyn house, and other capital projects, Mahan said the improvements throughout the town are owed to proper fiscal management and planning.

“It’s essential that the town continues to live within its means.  Keep in mind that with our lower property tax rate, which is $3.99 per thousand, a one percent tax increase yields our general fund, at this time, about $240,000 new revenue. And as you all know, that’s really not a lot for a town this size.”

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Listen: Paula Mahan's 2020 State of the Town address.

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