Town studies center funding

After dredging town financial records and correspondences, Supervisor Paula Mahan has halted additional funding to the Colonie Youth Center.

Mahan stated at the Thursday, Jan. 17, board meeting she has every intention of continuing funding to the nonprofit entity, but not until the town's legal department had a chance to review a written agreement by former town Supervisor Mary Brizzell to commit a total of $2 million during the next 10 years to the agency, an increase of almost $200,000 over the town's yearly contribution of $125,000.

We couldn't find another town around that just gives this kind of money without the funds to back it up, said Mahan to the three Republican board members who served under the old administration.

Specifically addressing Republican board member Brian Hogan, who at the time the agreement was made served as executive director of the youth center, Mahan said, "You made a promise for money that wasn't there."

Now, added Mahan, the youth center is waiting for its money after a tough summer.

Mahan presented board members with a letter dated September 2005 from Brizzell to youth center treasurer Lonnie Clar in support of making available $200,000 in the 2007 budget and in subsequent budgets over the next nine years.

"As you are all aware, this would be subject to the town board's approval," wrote Brizzell.

However, there was no resolution on record increasing aid to the center from $125,000 a year to more than $300,000.

Mahan alleged that, at the time the money was promised, not only did the youth center run into problems making payroll, but its crowning achievement, the multi-million dollar Rudy A. Ciccotti Family recreational facility, was in the process of securing funding for construction.

Mahan confronted Hogan, alleging that the letter was used to sway bankers to back the center's mortgage.

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