By Shawn Ness | November 14, 2022
Photo Credit: Fred Coffey
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Budget Director Gideon Grande released the city of Albany’s annual budget plan on Sept. 30. The budget contained plans to invest money into the city’s parks, sidewalks and streets, and the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA).
“Since I became mayor, I have focused on making transformative investments in every neighborhood,” according to the Mayor's letter in the budget plan. “My 2023 Proposed Budget is yet another example of that commitment in action.”
The Albany Water Department is finishing up a $50 million investment to help clean the Hudson River. They also look to replace 1,000 lead water pipes.
Meanwhile, the Albany Police Department is investing $2 million to build a new Communications 911 Emergency Operations Center. The investment would bring “state-of-the-art technology and equipment optimizing performance and efficiency.” The plan also shores up $460,000 for new hybrid and electric vehicles for the department.
Sheehan met with Mitch Landrieu, the Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator for President Biden, to announce $25 million in federal funding for the CDTA. The money will go towards replacing old buses with newer electric buses, as well as charging stations.
A group of New York Representatives and Senators had discussions with Landrieu about the potential good it can do for the city, “it will lower emissions and improve air quality and health, particularly in neighborhoods that are disproportionately impacted by transit emissions creating a greener and more equitable future of transportation”
“I feel like our buses run fine. There’s not much of a problem with them,” University at Albany senior Jason Qiu said. “Converting to electrical buses is, like, I won’t say a waste, but we shouldn’t do that yet. Considering we have a lot more to fix like the potholes so the buses can actually drive well.”
The budget proposed a $22 million investment in replacing crumbling sidewalks and repaving city streets; along with a “completely reimagined Central Avenue,” according to the plan.
“I’ve seen worse roads [than Albany], I don’t think that’s a high priority. I think that’s a little high,” UAlbany senior So Chon said. “Like if they’re going to do electric buses, focus on that first. I think [Albany] might be spreading themselves too thin. Honestly, the roads should be done before the buses; that will make it more feasible.”
Department of Recreation Commissioner Jonathon Jones revealed a final concept for the new Lincoln Park Pool, which was chosen by community members. The plan – also called “Concept A” – includes a 10-lane half-sized Olympic-style lap pool, a 6,000 sq. ft. splash pad equipped with a water slide, a 10,000 sq. ft. playground, as well as restrooms and pavilions. If approved, the old Lincoln Park pool will be demolished, leaving construction for the new pool to be completed in 2023 and 2024. The city is partnering with local donors to invest $17 million to rebuild the Lincoln Park pool after 91 years since its construction.