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Town agrees to sponsor Siena loop road project

In keeping with two resolutions passed unanimously by the Colonie Town Board at last week's Town Board meeting, Thursday, Sept. 11, a project to build a loop road on the Siena College campus will now be sponsored by the town.

According to Director of Facilities at Siena College Don Delmanzo, the project will create a road that will connect the campus' townhouses to its gymnasium in an effort to prevent students from using town roads to get from one side of campus to the other.

The project began, Delmanzo said, just over three years ago, just before he began working at the college in 2005, when the college received a $1.3 million federal grant for the transportation earmark. The grant required the college to seek a recognized entity sponsor for the project that would incur no additional costs in the construction or maintenance of the road.

Originally, the college had sought to have the state as a sponsor, but Delmanzo said the state is prohibited from being the sponsor.

"We had been told by the state, because of the kinds of earmarks that we're seeing, that they might pass a bill where we could be our own sponsor," said Delmanzo. "We didn't want to burden the town of Colonie initially if we could do it ourselves."

However that bill did not pass in the state Legislature and the college still needed a sponsor before beginning construction.

Next, Siena went to the Town of Colonie, at the time under the previous administration with former Town Supervisor Mary Brizzell.

Being that it was already December, the then-supervisor had told the college that the project would be put on hold until after the election.

The election came and went and the college still saw no sponsor.

At an agenda review session prior to the Thursday, Aug. 28, meeting, Delmanzo had talked to all members of the Town Board and the supervisor, pleading with the new administration to take on sponsorship of the project, telling them that the town would have virtually no liability with the loop road.

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