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Drainage dilemma

A month after an attorney representing the Shaker Road Fire Department met with the town to discuss drainage problems of residents living on the surrounding property, Colonie officials say they are still working on having a third-party inspect the land and determine whether the town should be responsible for the damages the residents are seeing.

Town Attorney Michael Magguilli said, We're still following up on what we had discussed, referring to a discussion that took place in an agenda review session before a regular town board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 26.

During the discussion, Shaker Road's lawyer Jack Clarke spoke of a deed that transferred ownership of a 1-acre parcel of land to the fire department from the town.

While the deed giving ownership to the fire department was signed by all parties in 2001, including then-Supervisor Mary Brizzell, according to Town Attorney Michael Magguilli, it was not recorded until six years later. During those six years, town employees dumped 15,000 cubic yards of "spoils," a composite material of dirt, tree bark and debris, on the land.

Magguilli said documents show that the then-town attorney's office did intend to record the deed, but the recording of the deed was put on a six-year hold after William Neeley, a highway supervisor who was recently demoted for his role in the dumping of spoils at the West Albany Rod and Gun Club, had sent e-mail to someone in the attorney's office under the name "SP" asking that person to not record it.

Magguilli has openly questioned why somebody in the highway department would be telling someone in the attorney's office when to record the deed.

As a result of the dumping of spoils, Clarke said, several residents on nearby Dorwood Drive and surrounding streets have complained to the fire department about drainage issues and flooding of their yards, pointing the finger at the fire department and seeking retribution.

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