Skelos takes over, Bruno endorses McDonald, AMD CEO stops by but still no word, Colonie tax put on hold, Ethan Allen settlement

State Senate Republicans "formally elected Dean Skelos to replace Joe Bruno as majority leader. Skelos, who's from Long Island, says his top three priorities are reducing property taxes. [TU]

Bruno has endorsed Wilton Assemblyman Roy McDonald as his successor in the 43rd Senate district. [Daily Gazette]

The CEO of AMD, the company with tentative plans to build a chip fab plant in Luther Forest, was at the Capitol yesterday to make the rounds. The company says its leader was not here to ask for more money. AMD still has definitively committed to the project. [TU]

At least for the moment, it looks Colonie will not be able to levy its special mid-year deficit reduction tax. The town needs the permission of the state to collect the money, but the measure died in the Senate yesterday (it had already been approved in the Assembly). The tax would have collected about $7 million toward the town's estimated $18 million deficit. [TU]

A confidential settlement has been reached with some of the defendants in the Ethan Allen case (the foliage tour boat the tipped over on Lake George). [Daily Gazette]

The plan to create a downtown Troy business improvement district is encountering friction from people worried about the tax needed to fund the BID. [Business Review]

The owners of the Saratoga Polo grounds are hoping to build an $80 million luxury time-share (er, um, "fractional ownership) resort there. Their waiting on the state AG's office to approve the ownership arrangements. [Daily Gazette]

A teenager recently stole a car in Waterford, but only made it as far as Troy in the ride -- because that's where he ran out of gas. Police nabbed him at a Stewart's. [TU]

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Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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