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Bethlehem making plans for capital projects

"There hasn't been a whole lot going on in that last 15 years," said Cansler.

The first step was to take inventory of what the town had in its possession and to assess what needed to be done at each structure, according to Cansler. The final result was surprising, he said, when town officials learned "the real problems were on the facility side," and that Bethlehem owns nearly 100 structures.

"It's been quite an eye opener," he said. "We really didn't know the shape some of the buildings were in."

Councilwoman Joanne Dawson told Cansler she was pleased with the prospect of a capital project plan.

"I just think the timing of this is excellent," she said. "I really believe you make better decisions when you're under some restraint and proceed with caution."

Councilman Mark Hennessey said with so many other municipalities competing for the same tax dollars as Bethlehem, having a concrete plan is the best plan.

"The only way I think we're going to get assistance from the government is to plan ahead," he said.

That is something Supervisor Jack Cunningham has been stumping for, too, he said.

Cunningham attended a series of meetings with federal, state and county leaders and personally presented some Bethlehem projects to Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam; state Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Delmar; Assemblyman Tim Gordon, I-Bethlehem; and County Executive Michael Breslin.

He said he also discussed the projects with representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

"We are working on a capital plan and have several projects, which really need federal, state or county funding and assistance, and we are being very proactive," Cunningham said in a statement. "That's the only way we are going to get projects on track and completed, particularly during this time of scarce resources at every level of government."

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