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Colonie town board split on deficit fixes

The Colonie Town Board appeared divided Thursday, April 10, when Board Member J. Brian Hogan brought to the table an alternative financial plan.

The new plan was introduced at the same meeting in which Supervisor Paula Mahan proposed a one-time corrective deficit tax on a sliding scale for homeowners, averaging $250, as part of a Strategic Financial Management Plan, which also includes reducing capital expenditures by 50 percent or more, including a deficit funding line in the general fund budget for $1.9 million over the next 10 years and wherever possible eliminating duplication of services within town departments.

Hogan announced his plan in the middle of a vote that would authorize the town to proceed with a financial plan that would involve being issued a deficit bond from the state.

Mahan asked that the plan be further discussed after a vote was collected on the resolution and the meeting's agenda was completed.

"Deficit funding is strictly a safety net," she repeated throughout the meeting.

Before introducing the plan, Hogan said he has questioned the numbers that the state comptroller and Munistat Investor Services have added together to reach the consensus that the town is $18 million in debt. Hogan said that this past week he has had a chance to sit down with town auditors Bollam, Sheedy and Torani and discuss the figures again.

Some key points of the plan introduced by Hogan, and Tom With and Nicole Criscione-Szesnat, the remaining two Republicans on the board, include a rush on the sale of one half of Heritage Park to Albany County; a 10-year pay down system for landfill closure costs; use of approved grants from the state Department of Environmental Conservation for waste reduction, recycling and the development of the landfill gas-to-energy program; and the charge back of town Enterprise Funds.

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