Ribbon-cutting for road project 151 at last

ALTAMONT — Nine years after the project was conceived, work is officially completed on a $6 million road construction project in the village.

Mayor James Gaughan oversaw a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday in Orsini Park in the center of Altamont. Former mayors Paul DeSarbo, who lost his post to Gaughan, and Kenneth Runion, the current supervisor of Guilderland, were also on hand.

The project began during Runion’s administration, in 1997, with planning for Main Street and Maple Avenue by the village and the New York State Department of Transportation. The project included streetscape concerns, safety, economic development, and the sewer and water line infrastructure, village officials say.

The bulk of the construction work was done during DeSarbo’s administration, often congesting traffic and blocking roads. The village has quieted significantly since then.

In addition to the roadwork, the project also included a new public parking lot off of Maple Avenue, funded by the Capital District Transportation Authority, after concerns were raised by village business owners about the reduced on-street parking..

Village taxpayers contributed about $250,000 for the project, Mayor Gaughan said.

Police protest

Unrelated to the project itself, Thursday’s ceremony also served as the site of a one-man protest against Altamont Commissioner of Public Safety Anthony Salerno.
Daniel Jacobson, of Altamont, held a cardboard sign that said "Commissioner Salerno must go."
"He has a history of harassing the teenagers and the single moms, and now he’s going after me," Jacobson told The Enterprise.

Jacobson would not elaborate on how Salerno has harassed him.
Salerno, who assumed the post last summer after a major restructuring of the small police department, has been accused of harassment before. In March, Altamont resident Terri Gockley complained to the village board about what she called "excessive and bullying treatment" by Salerno of her 18-year-old son after he was arrested for giving alcohol to minors.

In January, an Altamont Police Officer was disciplined by Salerno for harassing a clerk at Ketchum’s Service Store, where Jacobson works.

Salerno didn’t return a phone call from The Enterprise this week.

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