TROY, NY – As part of the first in-person Troy 100 forum since 2019, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden recently spoke about city finances and neighborhood reinvestments. Madden also noted the importance of the city finally paying off its MAC debt to drive investment in city services and infrastructure.
“Last year we invested in our fire stations. We’ll replace the one in Lansingburgh, but we’ve spent a lot of money on everyone else. We have remodeled the South Troy Pool. We spent $1.2 million fixing a pool that cost us $200,000 to build in 1960. We have developed a park plan in which we will invest again in our parks. So it is important for our future quality of life to pay back this debt. Just be patient, we’re going to take time, we didn’t get here overnight,” Madden commented on the structures being tackled in the city.
Madden also detailed the opportunity created by Congress to allocate $42.8 million in American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds to make an investment with long-term impact. The mayor noted that the city has a website called TroyNow.org where residents can track the progress of these spending and decisions.
Madden noted that he prefers to invest that one-time money into neighborhood improvements that create lasting change.
“So we’ve identified specific areas where we’re going to spend those funds and there is some funding left for additional community contributions, but things like affordable housing, home improvement, home ownership, those were issues that we heard from the small working groups .” Madden commented on some of the ideas put forward.
“Investments in our parks. We have a park master plan. We also have a plan to replace the pool at Knickerbocker Park, not only almost replacing the pool, but changing the configuration of the park where the pool is located. If you’ve been to parks in other communities, that’s where you’ll find the pool, picnic tables and grills, and volleyball courts and so on. The Knickerbocker Park Pool as it exists today is located along an alley. It’s a terrible place. Thank god it can’t be fixed, so we don’t have to make that decision. It needs to be replaced. So we want to move the pool to a more prime location, we want to make the park a destination for our families, not just a place to drop your kids off for summer activities,” Madden noted specifically of the Knickerbocker Park remodel.
“Demolishing the vacant Taylor buildings one and two just a block from here, these buildings have been vacant for over 10 years. We are investing money in the demolition of these buildings and are working with the Troy Housing Authority to redevelop this site to make Taylor Apartments residents available [with] modern, new, efficient living spaces. All units occupied in three and four will move to a new build which will be placed where buildings one and two are now located and open up the rest of this site to redevelopment of more living space and green space along the river” , Madden explains how to create affordable and environmentally friendly housing in the city.
Madden also commented on the importance of venues and activities for families.
“The American Theatre, also known as Cinema Arts, has been closed for several years. Before the pandemic, the Proctors Collaboration, which operates Proctors in Schenectady, Cap Rep and the Music Hall in Saratoga, was striving to reopen as a theater for both performance arts and film premieres. That was derailed by Covid. We’re going to put some money into bringing this theater back to downtown Troy, which is great because we can only go so far in bars and restaurants, we need to have other types of activities as well, like movies,” Madden explains.
Also, Madden talked about investing in Troy’s kids and creating jobs to keep them here.
“Other things we look at, education and human resource development, we’re evolving into a gaming development center in the town of Troy, video games. This creates new jobs. I want it to be for our children. I don’t mind people coming and moving to Troy, but I do want our kids to start doing it. So we’re working with Hudson Valley [Community College’s] Workforce Institute,” Madden said.
“Youth programs, we all know how valuable youth programs are. Access to food, that has already been mentioned. We are working with Capital Roots and Barton Grocery stores to open grocery access north of the Hoosick Street Bridge. Childcare, I’m not exactly sure where we’re going with this yet, but I know if you’re going to get everyone back to work, if you’re going to get everyone back to school, you need to provide childcare options. Childcare was difficult before the pandemic and became impossible during and after the pandemic,” Madden continued, highlighting a number of important issues the city also wants to address.
Madden concluded by acknowledging the creation of a position of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at City Hall. Adopted by the City Council and approved by the Mayor, the body aims to foster a diverse, welcoming and supportive work environment in the city.