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Mahan addresses future of Colonie in seventh State of the Town address

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Albany/HV: Mahan addresses future of Colonie in seventh State of the Town address
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Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan delivered her seventh State of the Town Address on Wednesday. Our Megan Cruz has the details.

COLONIE, N.Y. -- "We've eliminated a deficit that recently the New York State Comptroller has identified as $29 million, and we've built up a 1.45 million fund balance," said Paula Mahan, Colonie Town Supervisor.

It's a financial stability Town Supervisor Paula Mahan says will pave the way for a great 2014.

"We have a beautiful town and we want to make sure it stays that way for generations to come," said Mahan.

She said continued redevelopment of under utilized or vacant properties is key.

"The Shoppes at Latham Circle has advanced to final project approvals in advance of new construction, and as you may know, discussions are underway with a major tenant for the Starlite site," said Mahan.

She added, "Private assisted living which is great, low-impact."

She also mentioned the old Tobin's First Prize Center. There has been speculation it might be the location of one of the state's new casinos.

"Personally, I don't think that's the right location for it. That's smack in the middle of a neighborhood," Mahan said.

She delivered her seventh State of the Town address in front of a packed room in the Holiday Inn. Those who attended the speech say they share her vision for Colonie.

"I think we've done a good job of focusing on those sites and encouraging those redevelopments," said Jack Cunningham, the Colonie Commissioner of Public Works.

Linda Murphy, a Town Board Member, added, "We'd be delighted to have something happen with the Tobin site, but I'm not sure the residents that live very close to there would be particularly pleased to have that there."

The controversy surrounding motels and hotels on Central Avenue was not addressed. Skylane Motel was recently cited for 250 code violations. It'll be closed by the end of the month.

Critics say the town should oversee these properties with a more critical eye.

Mahan added, "They're privately owned so those owners are going to have to make those decisions, but it's our job to follow the laws and give the violations when appropriate."

In addition to the redevelopment projects, Mahan said other priorities include job creation, cutting government spending, and keeping taxes as low as possible.

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