By Abby Lorch | January 31, 2023
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan gave her 2023 State of the City address on Monday evening at the Washington Park Lake House. The presentation detailed completed and upcoming government projects, including improvements in housing, infrastructure, and community resources.
Mayor Sheehan gives the 10th annual State of the City.
Photo Credit: NEWS10 ABC
Now ranked the best place to live in New York by U.S. News, Albany has seen “win upon win” this past year, the mayor said. One major achievement Sheehan listed was the city’s procurement of federal pandemic relief funding, some of which has already been distributed through the $25 million “Albany for All'' program.
According to Mayor Sheehan, Albany for All has expanded access to affordable housing and homeownership across Albany, financing the construction of over 100 new affordable homes. The city also implemented protections for residents in 2022; it allocated $2 million to prevent homelessness and brought substantially more court cases against irresponsible landlords.
Mayor Sheehan also shared enthusiasm for the city’s ever-evolving community spaces. The Albany Skyway, a new elevated walkway that runs from downtown Albany to the Hudson River, is expected to draw more than two million yearly visitors. In 2023, city officials plan to begin redesigning Central Avenue, open a community center in West Hill, and establish an open marketplace outside the Palace Theatre. Park revitalization projects will continue this year, with Lincoln Park slated to receive a new pool.
Mayor Sheehan oversees pothole repairs while holding a sign that reads: “Kathy needs to fix these damn potholes”
Photo Credit: Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Facebook
Responding to widespread demand, Albany invested in infrastructure updates last year. The city filled 22,184 potholes, repaved 10 miles of streets, and rebuilt five miles of sidewalks. Additionally, 439 lead water service lines were replaced.
New York’s capital also made notable strides in public safety. A record 147 illegal guns were taken off the streets. Albany’s police force will soon undergo significant reforms, Sheehan said, as the city plans to launch an auxiliary police program this summer.
“[The Police Chief] is going to be hiring civilian, non-sworn-in police to assist with parades, and festivals, and parks, and green spaces,” Mayor Sheehan explained. She believes that this change will help to alleviate staffing issues within the APD.
As to the city’s institutions of higher education, Mayor Sheehan celebrated the upcoming re-merger of the University at Albany and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). She conveyed her appreciation for the work of local colleges and universities.
“We want to ensure that we’re creating the opportunities so that their students want to stay here, grow here, start businesses here, and be part of our community,” Mayor Sheehan said of colleges in the area.
With $900 million of investment currently being processed, Sheehan expressed hope for Albany’s future.
“We are making history right now, and we are creating a city that is truly an Albany for all,” Mayor Sheehan said.