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Town OKs Central Avenue gateway plans

After two weeks of delay as a result of being voted down by the Colonie Town Board, plans for new Central Avenue gateway corridor have been signed by Town Supervisor Paula Mahan and are in the beginning stages of being built.

The plan for the gateway, according to Design Supervisor for the state Department of Transportation Region 1 Geoff Wood, includes three flowering pear trees, 110 junipers and 480 daffodils.

Maintenance of the gateway was the driving force behind the plan's demise at the Thursday, July 24, Town Board meeting, in which the topic was heavily debated based on who would maintain the property.

Councilman Brian Hogan, who has been backing the initiative since July, originally said that while DOT has agreed to cover the costs of putting up the gateway, at no cost to the town, the maintenance of the median would be under the responsibility of the Town.

At that point, no department came forward, volunteering to care for the gateway.

Hogan had said that both the Town Parks and Recreation Department and Office of General Services typically maintain grounds, though Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Donald Myers had said in July that the department already had their hands full and did not see why they would be the ones to have to care for the gateway.

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 then that, in the summertime alone, the department is responsible for mowing between 600 and 700 pieces of land.

Another department who was determined to possibly care for the gateway was the Department of Public Works. But according to Commissioner Robert Mitchell, the department has received no notification that they were responsible for caring for the gateway since the contract was signed between the supervisor and DOT.

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