COLONIE: Town defends debris use

Colonie officials have come back with a 1-inch thick pile of financial reports in response to media reports they used public dollars to benefit private property.

Neighbors of the West Albany Rod and Gun Club began asking questions late last month as town employees and trucks worked eight-hour shifts for 13 days grading the entrance to the club with 2,000 cubic yards of soil, stone and debris.

Several town employees, including Town Attorney Arnis Zilgme and Comptroller Ron Caponera, are members of the club.

The work at the gun club has raised concerns among residents and Democratic challengers in upcoming town elections that Colonie is handing out favors.

Colonie contends that it is doing itself a favor by getting rid of excessive stockpiles of construction debris. Furthermore, they say, it is a practice that countless residents and private agencies have made use of.

Critics of the recent work at the private gun club are calling for an outside committee to review it to see if there is any wrongdoing.

I have turned info over to the district attorney so they can review the misuse of town funds for this private project, said Paula Mahan, a Democrat running against Republican incumbent town Supervisor Mary Brizzell.

"I have received many calls regularly on this case here. People are tired of it, they are tired of the corruption," said Mahan.

Mahan said she is aware that the town provides free fill to residents who want it as a courtesy. Her father-in-law, Joe Mahan, was one of those residents who signed the necessary release forms to accept fill from the town, according to town records.

But the scope of the work at the West Albany club is "above and beyond" work that has been done for residents, Mahan said. The club is getting a new driveway and parking lot out of it, she said.

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