Prior to your editorial last week, I had asked for another option prepared for discussion at the Feb. 15 work session. After reflecting on the negative attention the City of Albany has received by even the possibility of entering into a “deal” with Mediacom, I think we need to abandon that option. I propose that the City immediately collect the $139,000 that Mediacom owes us in unpaid franchise fees and interest. I suggest that Mediacom put the building at 509 Flint Ave. up for sale or auction.
I inspected the building at 509 Flint Ave. It is a metal building in need of some repairs, redesign and cosmetic improvements on 0.75 acre. I estimate that it may be only worth $150,000 depending on the final research into the possible environmental problems discovered so far — asbestos, black mold, possible lead paint, roof leaks, and window moisture problems. The heater works but the A/C system is an unknown to me.
I fully support the concept of the employees having a health clinic to minimize our self-insured health costs. However, I am not convinced that there is a need for another employee fitness center. An employee health clinic would require a much smaller space. I have not seen a survey of city employees that suggested they even wanted a fitness facility. The AFD and APD fitness facilities could possibly accommodate those that do. We need due process and sensitivity to the public in this matter.