Albany mayor calls for scaled down convention center proposal - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany mayor calls for scaled down convention center proposal

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Most of the land has been purchased, millions of dollars appropriated by the state, even the public has had the chance to weigh in -- and after nearly a decade, plans to build a convention center in Albany still haven't moved forward.

The proposal, created by the Albany Convention Center Authority, has been scaled down over the years but it's rendering for a six-acre complex would carry a $220 million price tag.

NEWS10 spoke with the authority's chairman, Gavin Donohue, about the delay.

"We've had an incredibly bad economic recession that you know revivals the depression and two we've had four different governors with all different priorities," said Donohue.

Given the tough economic times, Mayor Jerry Jennings has called it unrealistic and in his State of the City called for a less ambitious plan -- one that would improve the existing facilities at the Times Union Center and the Empire State Plaza along with construction of a new hotel and ballroom, all connected through the existing walkway.

The governor appropriated money for the project this year, but there's concern it won't be there for 2014. Albany county executive Dan McCoy tells NEWS10 he's spoken with the governor's office and they want progress.

"Jerry and I need to come up with a project and we need to make it work. We need to get something done this year. You know he has confidence, he put the money in the budget the $63 million which is going to be there but we have to have a plan that's going to work," said McCoy.

The governor's office directed NEWS10 to the State Budget Division for comment, and in a statement they said "the budget reappropriates existing spending authority for the convention center, but the project continues to have a significant funding gap."

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