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UAlbany to consider dorm relocation at request of neighbors

Attempts to contact Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings for comment were unsuccessful.

Bob Van Amburgh, a representative of the mayor's office, said the mayor is apprised of the situation, but Van Amburgh said he could not comment on the mayor's behalf on privately owned dorms.

Assemblyman Jack McEneny, D-Albany, said he is "indifferent to who owns" the dorms, but said the best place for them is inside the Harriman park, away from residential areas.

McEneny said that as the university grows the options to expand are to go off site, which he described as "sprawl" or to build somewhere closer or on campus.

He said the Harriman location is one that would best serve the university system, rather than the "state bureaucracy."

"It's a very anti-sprawl, pro neighborhood point of view," he said.

McEneny also said that he is supportive of a "green" solution and said adding black top is not optimal for the construction project. He said building the dorms over the parking lots on campus would help cut down on blacktop.

In an Oct. 21 letter to the university, McEneny wrote that the run-off is an something that needs to be monitored, said covered parking lots could also keep cars snow-free in the winter months.

"Nothing's off the table," Luntta said. "We're willing to listen."

The dorms are being built in the wake of testimony to the SUNY Board of Trustees by the New York State University Police Officers Union that "there are number of inefficiencies within the state university's police department," according to James McCartney president of the union.

"The members of our union recognize the critical nature of our state's fiscal crisis and we want to do our part during these tough budgetary times to make recommendations that we feel will make the state university's police department more efficient and less expensive," said McCartney in a statement. "We see a lot of waste inherent in the unusual structure of a highly decentralized university police department that employs sixty-five managers at a cost of $6.2 million for 400 officers. Compare that with New York's three other police agencies combined (State Police, Environment Conservation and Park Police) that manage nearly 4,500 officers with only twenty-four managers at a cost of $3.8 million."

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