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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 11, 2010

Guilderland Center residents form neighborhood association

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND CENTER  — After attending two town-sponsored meetings in the last year to discuss plans for the Guilderland Center hamlet, residents have decided to form a neighborhood association.

“At the planning meetings, little by little, it came out that many of the neighbors had the same concerns,” said Kelly Gardner, the new association’s meeting facilitator. She said Teri Conroy and Marcia Scott, as concerned citizens, thought there was a need to gather information. Conroy and Scott are the association’s meeting recorders. Gardner was chosen to be the facilitator because she has lived in Guilderland for 14 years, and, as a real-estate agent, has been active in various organizations throughout the town.

The public information meetings about the Guilderland Center hamlet, where a consultant hired by the town listened to residents’ concerns, sparked discussions about traffic safety and speed limits. Gardner said those were top priority topics for the neighborhood association.

The hamlet, with 2,980 residents according to the 2009 census, includes a nursing home, high school, industrial park, a town landfill and park, a shopping center and apartment complex, as well as 19th-Century residences and more modern homes.

“The idea behind this is to have one united voice for the community, to be heard, and to move forward,” said Gardner. The association, which will meet every fourth Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m. at the Guilderland Center firehouse, will often feature special guest speakers to address the important issues.

At the first meeting of the group, which had 20 attendees, Guilderland Councilmember Patricia Slavick spoke on behalf of the town’s Traffic Safety Committee, and addressed questions about the roundabout proposed for Guilderland Center. Jean Cataldo, receiver of taxes, talked about the importance of mailing tax documents in a timely manner.

For the next meeting, Curtis Cox, captain of the Guilderland Police Department, is scheduled to answer questions about the hamlet’s speed limits, and to talk about what measures the residents can take to get it changed. Gardner explained that many residents are concerned that the speed limit of 45 miles per hour is too fast for the hamlet, since there is a lot of foot traffic, with the high school and the shopping plaza on Route 146 in close proximity.

“We need to build our relationships and work to improve our neighborhood. We want to support change, and organize projects and volunteers,” said Gardner, of the association.

The next meeting will be held on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., at the Guilderland Center firehouse; all Guilderland Center residents are welcome, said Gardner.

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