City Hall will be torn down and replaced with a park, an underground parking garage and a possible mixed-use building housing new city government offices, officials said this morning.
The total project will cost $8 million, Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick said this morning. He added that $6 million in state funds will be made available for the project, which includes an esplanade running from Monument Square north to the Green Island Bridge and other park and recreation improvements.
We're going to have an esplanade!*
Now imagine, we were going to give this property away to Judge Development for the Verizon building. Does the Verizon building have an esplanade?**
Now, we think this is great. But, before everyone sports a big woodie, it's not like Joe's spending his own money. It's our money. And, instead of luring 150 well-paying jobs that will keep college graduates in the area, we're building a municipal building.
Joe's gone after today. Next year we'll be bitchin' about Long Island getting millions from Albany by way of Dean Skelos. They're going to want their own esplanade, after all.***
We have a tribute to Senator Bruno planned. He's truly one of our favorite Republicans. On the other hand, the tributes written by area reporters have been shameful in large part. It's true that Joe spent a lot of our money on the area. It's also true that after all those years, we're still faced with this and this.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest population estimates Wednesday, with the data showing the predictable trend: Most suburbs continue to gain as cities see further slides -- with some exceptions.
In Schenectady, the latest figures show the population growing from 61,481 in 2006 to 61,531 last year. That's still down from where the city was at the last full census of 2000, when 61,821 called the Electric City home.
Saratoga Springs continues to see growth, from 28,589 in 2006 to 28,782 in 2007.
In Albany, Mayor Jerry Jennings said he is pleased because the city's population decline is less than half a percent. Albany now has 94,172 residents, down from 94,603 in 2006.
"It's more stable than in the past, but I am not sure how accurate it is," he said. "It's encouraging that it's stabilized."
In Troy, the city saw 75 fewer people calling the Collar City home, with the population dropping from 47,819 to 47,744.
Albany and Troy weren't alone among upstate cities. Buffalo's population of 272,632 was down 0.93 percent over the year; Rochester, at 206,759, was down 0.49 percent; and Syracuse, 139,079, was down 0.78 percent, according to the estimates.
On a lighter note, we saw this headline and thought it was another story about Mirch.
* What the hell is an esplanade?
** Seriously what the hell is an esplanade?
*** It's food, isn't it?