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Colonie looking to lease out Community Center

Mahan says town is looking to sell spaces it doesn’t need anymore

— Town Attorney Mike Magguilli said the town has been looking at Montgomery Ward in Menands as an example, with just an office space to lease out to young businesses in favorable terms. He said there would be financial benefits for the town and there would be an agreement worked in that the business would have to create a specific amount of jobs in a given period of time. He did say, however, that the town is making sure the services provided by the town out of the Community Center would be allowed to stay there.

He made sure to delineate the relationship the town has with the IDA, as he said it is a separate public authority. The IDA, though, will be negotiating on behalf of the town through its attorney Connie Cahill.

“The town’s only control of the Industrial Development Agency is we appoint the directors,” Magguilli said. “After that, it’s a separate and distinct legal entity.”

The issue of the potential Community Center sale was recently brought up by Republican candidate for supervisor Denise Sheehan during a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 19, where she called the plan a “one-shot gimmick.”

Sheehan said she would not have sold the center, but said she would look to strengthening the tax base and reorganizing the way services are delivered in the town. She also said that she would work on reducing the size of government. She was not specific, though, as to what exactly that would mean but said she would focus on attrition.

“We need to be thoughtful in our approach to the way we deliver services in this town,” Sheehan said. “There’s a lot of duplication of effort.”

One of Sheehan’s concerns was what any of the different organizations that use the center would do if the building was rented out. Mahan said there are several areas in the town that can be used and added that some of those groups rarely use the space.

“There are some that are long term and some come and then find other locations,” Mahan said. “Some of these groups meet very few times or at different times of the day... A lot of the programs are held right in the schools before and after [classes].”

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