State looking at Harriman campus for new $600 million lab, it's unclear how many votes are a majority in state Senate, cow-milking robots

"A person briefed on the plan" tells the Times Union that the $600 million plan to consolidate the state's public health laboratory facilities is focused on building a new facility at a site on the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany. A state budget amendment released last week by the Cuomo admin asserts the state's current lab facilities associated with the Wadsworth Center -- which are at a handful of sites around the Capital Region, including at the ESP and the Axelrod Institute on New Scotland Ave in Albany (map) -- are "functionally obsolete and deteriorating." (Question: What does this mean for private development -- and expansion of the city of Albany tax base -- at the Harriman campus?) [TU] [NYS DOB]

The Cuomo admin announced an agreement between IBM and the NanoCollege to "maintain 3,100 high-tech jobs" at sites around the state through the end of 2016 -- though the details of the agreement aren't clear, at least publicly. (IBM is one of the NanoCollege partners in semiconductor research at the NanoCollege campus in Albany.) A rep for an IBM employees union says the agreement "still leaves room for further job cuts, considering the total employee population." [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A civil trial began Monday in yet another case of alleged police misconduct in Troy. [TU]

A Saratoga Springs resident says it took six months (and reporter's phone call) for the the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority to respond to his FOIL request -- and then the agency dumped hundreds of unrequested documents on him, charging him almost $400. [Saratogian]


Local state Assembly members Pat Fahy and Phil Steck say they oppose some of the main parts of the Cuomo admin's property tax "freeze" plan. Also: The mayors of Green Island, Watervliet, and Cohoes on their frustrations with the plan, which wouldn't credit municipalities for consolidation and cost-sharing that's already occurred. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Empire Center, the Farm Bureau, the National Federation of Independent Business lined up to support the Cuomo admin's plan to raise the threshold for the state's estate tax. [TU]

It is currently unclear how many votes constitute a majority in the state Senate. [NYT]

Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy wants the city to ban the sale of loose cigarettes -- that is, cigarettes sold one at a time. [TU]

The Schenectady City Council voted to appoint Ed Kosiur to a vacant seat on the council. [Daily Gazette]

Republicans in Rotterdam allege new yard waste pickup and water district fees are being used by the town board's Democratic majority to get around the 2 percent tax cap. [Daily Gazette]

An explainer on skimmers, which thieves use to steal credit and debit card info -- like the recent case at a Glenmont restaurant. [TU]

Farther afield, from a State Police press release: "Parolee Wearing Devil Mask and Accomplice Burglarized Central Bridge Church." [NYSP]

A class-action suit has been filed against Albany-based Excelsior College alleging the college wasn't upfront about all the details related to its online registered nurse program, including graduation rates. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review]

It's been a prolific pothole winter. [TU]

A dairy farm in Washington County has robotic systems for milking, feeding, and mucking. [WNYT]

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Recent Comments

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.

An orchard for Washington Park

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