Colonie town board seeks public input

"If there's ever a big plan here, I'm going to ask how we're going to pay for it," said Mahan.

An example she gave of a plan that was vetoed due to lack of money in was new technology equipment for the town's water monitors.

When the issue of tax increases came up, Mahan said, "When we look at taxes, you have to rational."

She said the town is trying to avoid an increase, but there is always that possibility.

Later, the Town of Colonie hosted a roundtable meeting at The Crossings regarding the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, where Mahan spoke about how important it is to talk with the community about these types of financial concerns.

"It's not easy going to the public, and sometimes you have to hear things you don't want to hear, and that's the hard part," she said at the Monday, April 7, meeting.

Throughout the meeting, Mahan referred to the town's "10-year strategic financial and management plan," which outlines short-term objectives, which include: limiting travel and conference attendance; a freeze on all non-essential spending; a reduction of capital expenditures by 50 percent or more; and reduced contractual expenses.

A few long-term objectives of the plan include: generating more property and sales tax for large commercial residential projects that are proposed for this year and the future, including the Holiday Inn, Super Wal-Mart and Colonie Center Remodeling; using The Crossings park for more income-producing projects; continued consolidation of services throughout each individual department on an annual basis; and the construction and adoption of a "structurally balanced budget," with a deficit reduction line.

Mahan's director of communications, Peter Gannon, said the supervisor was pleased with the turnout of the special public meeting and that she once again stresses the importance of informing the public.

Bill Mangus, a Colonie resident of more than 40 years said that he is kind of upset about the commotion surrounding the town's financial issues, but, referring to the supervisor, he said, "I think she's working as hard as she can with what she's got." ""

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