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Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Meeting November 2, 2005

Albany Public Library

 

  1. Introductions
bulletThe grand opening ceremony of the North Albany Branch of the Albany Public Library will be held at 11 AM on November 14 at the new branch located at 616 North Pearl Street .
bulletThe Albany Public Library has launched its first annual appeal for contributions.  The campaign will be opened with a luncheon at the main branch on Saturday November 5.
bullet ARISE is seeking support for their proposal to have local workers employed by publicly funded construction projects.  More information will be presented at the next CANA meeting.
bulletJim Travis has made a request to present information in favor of  the Coeymans Landfill at the next CANA meeting.    Dan Van Riper will arrange for Lynne Jackson from Save the Pine Bush to attend and present other points of view.

 

  1. Minutes

            Minutes of the October 2005 meeting were approved.         

   

  1. Committee Reports

 

·        University & Community Relations

The next committee meeting will be November 9, 2005 .  The Tavern owner list has been updated with establishments who have signed the advertising agreement.

 

·        Codes

The committee has a meeting scheduled with Nick DiLello to discuss and follow up on cases that have been problematic.  The committee is trying to get the city to enforce the laws.  The Committee will present a report of progress made since last year at the Neighborhood Works program on December 3.

 

·        Neighborhoods Work

The Neighborhoods Work IV program will be held from 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturday December 3, 2005 , at the First Lutheran Church , 646 State Street .  The theme this year is “Comprehensive Planning.”    The keynote speaker will be Patti Salkin of the Albany Law School .  The conference is free.  Continental breakfast will be available.

 

·        Cable Committee

The chairman of the Mayor’s committee, Councilman Dave Torncello, resigned at the last meeting.  However, he has challenged the CANA Cable Committee and the League of Women Voters to create an entity to secure funding to set up a television studio.  Capital Cablevision is presently under contract to give 5 percent of its revenue to the City of Albany .  Funding in addition to that, however, will be necessary.  A not-for-profit group will be developed to go forward.

 

  1. Guest Speaker:  City of Albany Comptroller Thomas Nitido

 

Mr. Nitido presented an overview of the proposed 2006 City budget.   The council must act on the budget before the last day of November. 

 

The budget includes proposed increases in spending for health care, salaries, gas and fuel expenses and debt service.  Due to the high cost of health care for employees and retirees, bonding will be sought for operating expenses.  $2.5 million from the fund balance will also be used.

 

In the City’s favor, finances are better than most comparable cities; Albany has an acceptable credit rating; a high level of services are available; economic development in and around Albany is encouraging; the City is not vulnerable to acts of nature.

 

There have been rapid cost increases since 2000 in the areas of health insurance, pensions, and salaries. 

 

Major sources of revenue in 2006 include $23.5 million in 19A payments from the State.  Those payments decrease annually by approximately $700 thousand.  

 

The City faces significant challenges in maintaining an acceptable level of services while minimizing tax increases.  To structurally balance Albany ’s budget, health care costs must be addressed; a focus needs to be placed upon departmental operations; global budgeting for departments needs to be implemented; professional negotiators need to be secured; and an independent auditor needs to perform a management audit and provide a “fresh look” at Albany ’s finances.

 

Mr. Nitido addressed the following issues raised by CANA members:

 

·        The City’s most recent 10-year contract with Time Warner Cable was meant to provide the city with 5 percent of all Time Warner’s revenue from residences in the City.  However, Federal regulations have interpreted the contract to mean the City would profit from television cable services only.  Although the contract expired quite a while ago, Time Warner continues to remit funds to Albany .  The City did not litigate the Federal decision. 

·        $800,000 above the budgeted amount for overtime in 2005 has been expended.

·        In 2005 the Rapp Road landfill will bring in $13 million in revenue.  Albany will probable receive revenue from the landfill for two or three more years.

·        Use of methane at the landfill is being discussed. 

·        Potential property tax revenues when the Harriman Campus is converted from State offices to a technology park have not yet been established.

·        Potential new revenue sources for the City include imposing a surcharge on individuals who work in Albany but are not residents; further development at the Port of Albany ; and pursuing the use of alternate energy alternatives. 

·        The Town of Bethlehem will be purchasing more water from Albany .  

 

  1. New Business and Announcements

 

·        2006 will be the 30th anniversary of CANA .  The chairman is seeking suggestions from members about a celebratory event.

·        The Long Stair:  From Sheirdan Hollow to Capitol Hill by Kirby White is presently available at the Bookhouse in Stuyvesant Plaza and at the Community Loan Fund Offices at 255 Orange Street .  Kirby White is founder of the Capital District Community Loan Fund.  Proceeds from Sales will benefit the Albany Community Land Trust.

 

 

  1. Adjournment

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM .

 

CANA

Meeting Attendees

November 2, 2005

 

NAME

ASSOCIATION

ADDRESS

Holly Katz

Mansion

harriskatz@ (illegible)

Colin McKnight

Mansion

colinnalbany@yahoo.com

Betsy Shearer

PSNA

bshearer@quixnet.net

Daniel VanRiper

Lincoln Park NA

223 South Swan Street

John Cirrin

Albany Public Library

cirrinj@uhls.library.us

Marggie Skinner

PHNA

marggies@earthlink.net

L Tercinello

DANA

 

Richard Conti

Common Council 6th Ward

151 Chestnut St

PO Kathi Rissberger

Albany Police Department

536 Western Ave

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So. Allen St

Harold Rubin

Center Square

156 Chestnut St

Brian LeVine

Hudson/Park NA

92 Willett St

Mark Yolles

Mansion NA

46 Elm St

Tom Gebhardt

University at Albany

tgebhardt@uamail.albany.ed

Howard Stoller

CANA

Hstoller@aol.com

Donald Wardle

United Tenants

125 Dove St

Anne Brewster

Washington Park

75 Willett St

Mimi Mounteer

Manning Boulevard

75 Manning Blvd

Andrew Harvey

PSNA

Aach2004@aol.com

Ellie Pepper

Arbor Hill Development Corp

241 Clinton Ave