On March 2, 1921 – the Village of Colonie was incorporated. The first Board of Trustees meeting was held four weeks later at the Colonie Village schoolhouse at 8:00 p.m, Wednesday, March 30, 1921, with the Mayor, Charles H. Collins, presiding over the Board of Trustees. That night the Village government borrowed $500 for the purpose of defraying expenses of the incorporation, created the office of Police Justice, set a tax rate of $3.00 per $1,000 assessed valuation, established the first Village budget at $1285, and the Village was in business. The Village of Colonie was little more than twin ribbons of buildings on either side of Central Avenue, stretching from the traffic light on Wolf Road to the traffic light on the western side of the Village.
In March of 1923, with Mayor Nordin Shambrook presiding, the Village borrowed $12,000 to pay its share of improving the Albany-Schenectady Road.
During the 1930’s the Village continued to grow with a variety of ordinances being passed to keep abreast of the times and to insure that the Village would be “A Place to be Proud of.”
1931 – Fire Company incorporated
1932 – Ordinance passed prohibiting swine in the Village
1933 – Budget approved at $12,000
1934 – Resolution made to construct underpass on Albany-Schenectady Road for the safety of Colonie Village school children
1936 – Special election held to vote on the establishment of Village water system; 91 voted for the system and 106 against it.
1937 – Budget set for $14,935
1938 – Budget $15,547
1939 – Budget now $16,067
In August 1940 the Village Board met with the Town of Colonie to discuss the purchase of water from the Latham Water District. It was agreed that the Village would use the main line on Wolf Road to furnish water to the Village residents. The Board offered and adopted a resolution to issue $75,000 in bonds for the water system. Under the strong leadership of Mayor Russell Goulty, who served during the 1940’s, the Village continued to expend. Bus service between Albany and Schenectady started, Lincoln Avenue was paved, a zoning commission was authorized to protect the Village from undesirable buildings and the 1949 budget was $18,316.
The fifties saw the Village continue to grow under the guidance of Mayor Fred Bauer as evidences by population as well as the size of the budget which grew from $24,000 in 1950 to $91,164 in 1959.
An interesting quirk in the 1960 election occurred. On May 23, 1960, due to a tie vote in the elections of the Trustees between Edward Mahoney and William Cook, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court ruled that the choosing of the trustees would be done by lots. The Clerk-Treasurer produced a deck of cards. Bill Cook drew the jack of diamonds and Ed Mahoney drew the eight of diamonds. Thus, at the flip of a card and the luck of the draw, Bill Cook became a trustee, launching him into his political career. Bill went on to become Mayor and served in that post until he retired.
Perhaps the most accelerated growth both in terms of size and delivery of services to Village residents took place during the 12-year leadership of Mayor Bill Cook from 1960 to 1972.
Mayor Charles Milton took office and started rubbish pick-up route and continuation of the sewer project in the Village.
June, 1981 – Mayor Kuhn and Board of Trustees built a new Senior Citizen Center
June, 1995 – Frank Leak takes office. During Frank’s years as Mayor of the Village, he and the Board of Trustees have accomplished the following:
- Light at Nicholas Drive
- Jupiter Lane realignment
- Dredge Cook Park pond
- Bauer Park (60 acres) $90,000 grant
- Land behind Parkwood and Hialeah (13 acres) purchased by the Village
- Street repaving programs, including drainage and TV video of condiditons of sewers to help implement proper maintenance
- Storm sewer program from Hialeah and Nicholas to Northway
- Receiving a grant for sidewalks on Lincoln Ave. and bike paths in the Village
- Bought property next to Locust Park mini-park to make recreation area for the Senior Citizen Center
- Implement one-way traffic on Lincoln Av. from Petra Lane to Rapp Road for specified hours.
- Implementing speed humps on various Village streets, stop signs on Hunting Road to slow and/or stop drive-thru traffic on our Village streets.
- Solve water pressure problem on Stirrup and Hunting Road area
- Sidewalks on Sand Creek Road
- Kept taxes at $40 per thousand (in 1979, taxes were at $44 per thousand – a savings to all Village residents.