Brad Kelly Staff writer
Section: LOCAL,  Page: B2

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 1989

The Common Council Monday night authorized the issuance of $7.1 million in bonds to finance a number of public works projects, including the construction of a new Department of Public Works garage on Erie Boulevard in North Albany.

The construction of a new public works garage, estimated to cost as much as $5.6 million, topped the list of public works expenditures given the go-ahead by the council. The city has been looking for a new home for the public works department garage for more than two years. The old garage at 14 N. Manning Blvd. is being converted to apartments for senior citizens. The council authorized $5,367,500 in bonds to help finance the construction of the new garage, which is expected to begin during the spring. The council also authorized $320,000 in bonds for construction of a salt storage shed, $567,000 in bonds for equipment and $855,000 in bonds to help pay for the closure of the city's demolition landfill, which occupies a portion of the new garage site.

The council Monday night also approved an ordinance merging the city Arts Office and the Office of Volunteer Services into a new Office of Volunteers, Special Events and Cultural Affairs.

The move comes more than a month after Mayor Thomas M. Whalen III fired City Arts Office Director Patricia Devane for the post she had held since 1978.

The new office will be headed by former Volunteer Services Director Dale Crary at an annual salary of $33,390 this year.

Alderman Peter Horan Monday night announced he has scheduled a meeting of the Common Council Police Department Committee this month in an attempt to get the Albany police officers union and the city back to the bargaining table.

Negotiations between the two sides fell apart earlier this month after the union accused the city of substituting an inferior dental plan for one that had been included in a tentative agreement reached Jan. 31.

More than 100 off-duty officers picketed inside the Common Council chambers in City Hall before the March 6 council meeting.

Horan, chairman of the Police Department Committee, said he has scheduled a March 30 meeting with Franklin Goldberger, a Schenectady attorney hired by the city to represent it during negotiations with the police union. He said the meeting will be open to the public.

"Right now things seem to be un- tracked," Horan said. "Maybe we can get them on track."