Albany, by most measures of community health, is doing well. More businesses and individuals are investing more money in new enterprises than at any time in the past five years, and nearly all the trends appear to be positive. Some of the signs are easy to see, while others are more subtle.
New apartment complexes, new homes, and new subdivisions are all a part of Albany’s landscape; and it shouldn’t be surprising that new retail businesses are moving in to serve the new residents. Less obvious are expansions by local industries, creating new family wage jobs that attract new families. Albany is starting to experience some of the growing pains that affected the community in the earlier years of the past decade.
New investment and population growth is not always a cause of celebration, but it is a sign that Albany is an attractive and secure place for people to live and do business. It’s not hard to understand why many people consider Albany a nice place to live. Our community has a large inventory of comparatively affordable homes, educational opportunities, shopping, entertainment, jobs, and outdoor recreation and is centrally located to major transportation routes. While Albany does not enjoy some of the amenities of a large urban area, it is comparatively free from the congestion and crime found in bigger places.
Albany has modern infrastructure that provides reliable water, wastewater treatment, transportation, and telecommunications services. Businesses also enjoy the security of a development code and enforcement efforts that provide protection against incompatible uses. Emergency services are well-established and have strong reputations for exceeding expectations to assist those in need. Well-maintained parks, strong recreational programs, and excellent libraries provide additional reasons for people to choose Albany as their home.
Albany would not be Albany, however, without the dedication of countless volunteers who donate their time and money to sustain everything from summer concerts and libraries to homeless shelters and food pantries. Museums, programs that support small businesses, Neighborhood Watch groups, Court Appointed Special Advocates, United Way, and Safe Haven Humane Society, to name a few, all testify to the importance of volunteers in making Albany a desirable place to be.
Albany’s future will continue to look good as long as people are willing to invest their time, talents, and money to make good things happen here. It is easy to lose sight of all that is best in a place by focusing only on its problems. Albany, like all communities, faces its share of challenges; but the town is fortunate to have many assets and resources that generally take the form of dedicated people committed to building a better future.