Bethlehem gets final 20/20 report

He told the board, "Bethlehem should be bold; Bethlehem should a take a leadership position."

Controlled economic development and "not just focusing on the big-ticket items" such as big-box stores or the Vista Technology Park as a financial solution was a sentiment put forth by the group.

Egan said now that the report is finished, the board should act on the recommendations as quickly as possible.

"Now that we've done all of this work, what do we do next?" she asked the board before offering her opinion to "take this framework and get going as soon as possible. The time to act is now."

Egan told the board another opinion that was shared by several other 20/20 members regarding the tough decisions that lie ahead of the town.

"We don't envy your position; it's going to be very difficult," she said, adding the current financial crisis was "not of your own doing."

Another committee member, Steve Baboulis, took a small swipe at neighboring Colonie's financial deficit.

"I think it would be virtually impossible for this town to come up with an $18 million deficit," he said before thanking the board. "I would like to say to thank you, especially to Jack [Cunningham] for putting this together and to Kyle Kotary and Sam Messina for attending many meetings."

The report points to many of the positives the town has to offer, too, in its vision statement.

"In the Year 2020, the Town of Bethlehem is a community of attractive residential neighborhoods, vibrant hamlets, successful mixed-use commercial centers, modern industrial facilities, and productive rural lands," the report reads. "These are well connected by regional highways and local streets, adequately serviced by public transportation, and linked by a network of sidewalks and trails."

Location and natural resources were also on top of the list.

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