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Officials outline state of Colonie

Colonie Center mall was abuzz quite early on Friday, Jan. 14, where residents, business members and members of the educational community attended the Colonie Chamber Commerce sponsored State of the Town event.

The event, which began at 7:30 a.m., featured several speakers including Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, Chief of Police Steve Heider, Planning and Economic Development Director Joe LaCivita, South Colonie School Superintendent Jon Buhner, North Colonie School Superintendent Joe Corr, Capital District Transportation Authority CEO Carm Basile and Colonie Center General Manager Ken Huge.

All of them spoke about what was done in the past year in the Town of Colonie and what they hope to do in the coming year.

Mahan discussed the difficulties of reducing the town's budget this year from $93 million to $92 million, but without skimping on any of the services provided.

\We all know the effects of one of the worst economies since the Great Depression, she said. "But we have been able to stay on course, move forward, and certainly I hope that you all see we have been providing the excellent quality of services you've all become accustomed to."

She added that a lot of the financial strategies laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State speech on Jan. 5 have been used by the town of Colonie for the past three years.

There was a reduction over the past few years in sales tax and mortgage tax, Mahan said, but she said things are starting to look up.

"We are starting to slowly see that increase again," she said. "That's a good sign. We're hoping that will continue."

She also touched on the contributions the town is mandated by the state to make to pension funds in 2011-2012, which she said could reach up to 39 percent of the total budget.

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