Albany approves swap, Mediacom building for debt

The city will takeover the old Mediacom building at 509 Flint Avenue

Mediacom owes the city of Albany nearly $140,000 and city commissioners and city officials discussed the possibility of swapping that large debt for the old Mediacom building on Flint Avenue.

Kris Newton, Director of Finance says the city has been in discussions for a while with Mediacom about using their building pay off their debt.

Commissioners voted 4-2 to approve the swap. Commissioners Jon Howard and Dorothy Hubbard say they have concerns and they see red flags. "We need to be sure of why they want to give away the building. We need to make sure that there are no structural problems before we say yes" says Hubbard.

The swap means the city will take the building in its current condition. Officials say they know they need to replace the roof which will cost an estimated $60,000 on top of rehabbing the inside. "The city will do the repairs and then use it for something that we desperately need. Either more space for public safety or a health clinic for city employees" says Newton.

Commissioner Hubbard says she just wants to make sure the city is getting a fair deal for swapping out six figure debt. "It concerns me that we don't know how much money it's going to cost us and that is what I'd like to see before I vote for it" says Hubbard.

City officials say the swap will pay off in the city's favor in the next few years because the city won't be paying rent or mortgage to anyone for the building and own it free and clear.

City officials, engineers, and the police department will decide later this week exactly how to use the building and start making plans.