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In State Of The City, Albany's Sheehan Highlights Economic Development

Patrick Garrett

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan marked her first year in office with her State of the City address Wednesday night. The speech mixed a review of 2014’s accomplishments and plans for this year.

Sheehan stressed economic development. She laid out plans to renovate buildings in an attempt to eliminate urban blight. Sheehan talked about working with regional mayors to help improve the economic situation for the Capital District…

“We’ve been getting together, to talk about how we can work together, and we’ve got some really exciting initiatives that we are going to be exploring in 2015, that will not only save money but allow us to do our jobs better,” Sheehan explained.

The first-term Democrat announced that the crime rate in the city in 2014 was 14 percent below the average for the last five years. Sheehan also highlighted planned improvements in housing and parks as well as the community’s relationship with the Police Department. She also unveiled plans for SUNY Polytech’s nonprofit real estate arm, Fuller Road Management Corporation, to give the city $500,000 in annual payments to the city per year for three years. The money is said to help defray the costs of city services to the expanding campus and would go into the city’s general fund.

The announcement comes less than a week after Albany Medical Center committed to a $500,000 payment of its own. However The Times Union reports that SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros said the agreement is a formal mechanism for Fuller Road Management Corporation to pay off the part of the $1.9 million to the city agreed upon in July of last year. Sheehan went on to clarify that the three $500,000 payments were separate.

Sheehan, who has pushed a red-light camera program for up to 20 of the city’s busiest intersections, also announced an initiative to change Madison Avenue from four lanes — two in each direction — to three lanes with a center turning lane.

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