Gateway plan rejected

A proposal to beautify an entrance to the Town of Colonie was shot down at a Town Board meeting this week on Thursday, July 24.

The proposal, which would authorize Supervisor Paula Mahan to reinstate the original design for the Central Avenue corridor gateway project as proposed by New York State Department of Transportation was rejected by the Democratic majority along partisan lines in a 4-to-3 vote.

According to Republican Councilman Brian Hogan, who introduced the resolution, DOT had proposed a makeover to the Central Avenue gateway a couple of years ago that would include several trees and shrubbery. Hogan said the administration at the time did not execute the agreement between the town and DOT, which resulted in DOT later proposing a redesign of the gateway, which included no shrubbery or trees.

"The town supervisor [Mary Brizell] never signed it, so I guess they have redesigned their plan to be more concrete," Hogan said.

The original plan was to make several gateways that lead into the town "look nicer," according to Hogan.

Hogan argued that while DOT is still at work on Central Avenue, there is time to ask if the original plan, involving trees and shrubbery, could be executed.

One underlying obstacle seems to stand in the way, though: the maintenance of the gateway.

Hogan said that DOT has agreed to cover the costs of putting up the gateway, but the maintenance of the median will be the town's responsibility. Hogan said that the Parks and Recreation Department and Office of General Services typically maintain grounds.

But according to Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Donald Myers, the department already has its hands full.

"We were asked this question [of whether we could handle maintaining the gateway] by the planning department in February or March, and I declined," he said. Myers said that in the summertime, alone, the department is responsible for mowing between 600 and 700 pieces of land.

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