ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan delivered her tenth State of the City Monday evening, highlighting some of the strides the city took last year, while also laying out her hopes for 2023.
The mayor began her address by recapping some of the strides the city took last year, “We came back. We had thought in 2021 we were coming back, but the pandemic had a little more for us,” she said.
One major stride was in public safety. As investments continue to pour in to combat gun violence, Albany officers confiscated a record 147 illegal firearms off the streets last year.
“Every single one of those guns could have cost someone a life. In fact, we had a 30% decrease in the amount of firearms-related deaths that we had in our city last year, so it shows that it’s working,” Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said after the address.
Sheehan also credited a collaboration with state resources to quickly apprehend suspects accused of committing acts of gun violence.
Investments will also flow into a variety of areas of the city through tens of millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funding, a rollout of funding that the mayor has coined “Albany for All”, noting that there was something there for everyone.
“In 2023 we are going to see that money at work,” she previewed.
Other funding expected this year includes money for the much-anticipated West Hill Community Center, $2 million in an effort to prevent homelessness and a record $22 million for roads and sidewalks.
As Albany looks to build coming out of the pandemic, Sheehan is also focusing on ensuring the city is ready for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
“In 2023, we will obtain most of the city’s electricity from renewable sources,” she announced to a round of applause.
Other initiatives include rebuilding the urban forest and removing lead from water. Sheehan says the city has accelerated the timeline to remove all lead from its water infrastructure, a topic she spoke about with Vice President Kamala Harris in a visit to Washington last week.
“We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get the resources that we need, because our children deserve to be safe. No one should have lead in their water,” the mayor said.
With $900 million set to be invested into the city, Sheehan says now is a time to be more hopeful than ever.