Colonie creates stimulus \wish list

Colonie officials have outlined a list of top priority town projects and sent copies to the U.S. Congress, indicating where the money that the town would receive from President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package would go.

This report will give state and federal leaders a clear impression of what the town's priorities are in regards to stimulus funds, said Supervisor Paula Mahan.

The list includes projects ranging in cost from $180,000 and up.

Mahan said creating the wish list was done to keep Colonie's name near the top of the pile when state leaders start considering how to divide the stimulus money among municipalities.

"The needs for these funds are real, and we're pursuing all avenues to make sure Colonie is given every consideration throughout this process," she said.

Although town officials do not yet know how much stimulus money Colonie is projected to receive, nor do they know how soon they could see it, according to the list of priority projects, two projects rank above all others in terms of priority: the closing of the landfill and expansion of the new landfill site and a townwide roadway improvement plan.

According to Director of Town Operations Peter Gannon, the town would like to get money for all of the 20 projects submitted, but the landfill and roadway projects are the most urgent.

Gannon also said those projects could help create and retain about 100 jobs in the town.

The goal of the townwide roadway improvement plan is to get the town caught up on paving and roadway repairs.

The town is asking for $15 million for the plan, which includes a project on Sand Creek Road. Gannon said the roadway work could generate between 25 and 50 jobs.

Gannon said there are between 60 and 70 miles of roadways that need repairing within the town, ranging in severity of damage, but without the stimulus money, the town would only be able to complete repairs on about 8 miles of roadway.

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