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Colonie in 2012

Event takes a look at upcoming year

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan reflected on 2011 and looked forward to 2012 at the Friday, Jan. 6, event.

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan reflected on 2011 and looked forward to 2012 at the Friday, Jan. 6, event. Alyssa Jung

— Where is the Town of Colonie headed in 2012? That’s the question a panel of local officials tried to answer at “Colonie in 2012,” held at Colonie Center on Friday, Jan. 6, by the Colonie Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by NBT Bank.

“I’m confident that the next two years are going to be even greater progress for Colonie,” said Supervisor Paula Mahan.

Mahan touted her New Year’s message that 2011 had been a “productive” year and said the inherited deficit of about $21 million is gone and the town’s financial house is in order, putting Colonie on a good path for development and growth in the coming year.

“We need to be very conservative as we progress in to the future. … We’re on a more stable ground that we will be able to begin to build some surplus,” said Mahan. “We’ve certainly worked very hard to make Colonie a business friendly community.”

Business friendly

Joe LaCivita, director of planning and economic development for the town, said the town is attracting more businesses largely because of efforts to restructure development processes.

“When we entered into office (in 2008) we were primarily in a reactive mode to development. We heard from the developers, heard their frustration, heard it from engineers and we knew the processes that were inherited were flawed,” said LaCivita.

It took too long to develop within the town because “no one knew the reasons why” certain steps and processes were there.

“What we really had to do was break through the processes that we inherited and start to move at the speed of business, not at the speed of government,” said LaCivita. “Fast forward to 2011 … primarily on a day to day basis we are in a proactive approach to development. We are seeing developers come back to the town in anticipation.”

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