A resolution was adopted Thursday, May 8, allowing the Town of Colonie to seal the deal on the sale of half of Heritage Park, owned by the Town of Colonie, to Albany County.
At Thursday’s meeting, Mahan said the portion of the park being sold to the county is worth about $2.7 million. Town Attorney Michael Magguilli said his goal is for the town to have the money from Albany County for the park as soon as June 30.
Magguilli was thanked by Town Board Member Brian Hogan for his work on putting together a contract for the sale of Heritage Park.
In an interview with The Spotlight Newspapers after the board meeting, Magguilli talked about the process that goes on between the county and the town until the deal is finalized. The contract was approved last night, he said, Friday, May 9. `What will happen next is Paula [Mahan] will sign that contract and then it goes back to the county of Albany.`
Magguilli said the next step would be to have it sent to a committee, and then the County Legislature, before it is passed, and there could be a closing for the portion of land being sold.
According to Kerri Battle, director of communications for County Executive Mike Breslin, the sale of Heritage Park is something Breslin has been committed to since former Supervisor Mary Brizzell was in office. `When Supervisor Mahan took office, he continued to make arrangements with the town [for Heritage Park],` said Battle.
According to Battle, the half of Heritage Park the county is planning to buy is only a portion of a larger section of land the county has plans to take over. Specifically, the county is planning to do a study of nearly 160 acres of land near the Albany International Airport, said Battle, and that the county does not yet know to what use the land will be put.
`The study is going to do an analysis and help us determine what the best use of the land would be,` she said.
The portion of Heritage Park being sold only occupies 21 acres of the almost 160 being studied.
Battle said she does not know how long the study will take because of the size of the land and the number of parcels that are located in the area being studied.
`At one point in time, there was consideration of it being the site for the county nursing home,` said Battle, `But the location of the nursing home really needed to be closer to transportation. That really is off-the-table now.`
Battle did not name any other specific considerations for the use of the land.
As far as the contract goes, Magguilli said the contingencies are very few. He explained that currently Albany County and the Town of Colonie are joint tenants of Heritage Park. After Albany County signs the contract to purchase the land, Magguilli said, `The contract calls for certain contingencies that have to be met,` and, `They might want to do a state quality review,` so that they can evaluate the quality of the land.
No residents voiced concern regarding the sale at the May 8 Town Board meeting, and according to Battle, no major concerns have been raised in the past few years other than those against placing the nursing home in that location.
The date of the sale is uncertain, according to Battle, and while Magguilli said his goal is to have the contract signed by both parties on June 30, he also said that he has even higher hopes for the signing to be completed sooner.
`Now that may be a little optimistic,` he said, `But optimism is never a bad thing.“