Albany: Big Plans for Small-Town Charm

Albany: Big Plans for Small-Town Charm

Writer & Photographer / David Fennig

Albany is a small town of around 2,000 residents with exciting growth happening this year, increasing opportunities for localsAlbany and visitors to shop, eat and play around the town. Randall Dunnuck, a native to Albany and the town board vice president, spoke a little on the investments that the city has made to increase appeal for residents of the community and generate gathering places for the summer months.

“We are getting a lot of notice here,” Dunnuck says.

He has served previously as town board president, and has been serving the town of Albany since 2006. Dunnuck sums up working in politics in a small town with a simple statement: “I love the town, I love the people.”

The town boasts several murals in its charming downtown, and small independent restaurants and shops dot the main street. The artwork reflects the town’s dedication to beautification and making a visitor-friendly space.

“What’s desirable for the community is a place to live, play, shop, and good schools,” says Dunnuck, who has four children currently in the school system there. “We have great schools.”

AlbanyThe town has invested in new spaces to encourage locals to get together and enjoy summer weather. These include a new splash pad (opening to the public on Memorial Day weekend), located right off of Highway 67 as it passes through town. Adjacent to that location, the city is building a new amphitheater with a stage, alongside permanent game installations like corn hole, ping-pong and pickleball. The amphitheater should be open for summer concerts and gatherings this summer.

Not all of the new quality-of-life investments are for socializing, though. New water lines and new roads are coming to Albany next year, as well as new shopping options west of town. The town has also made long-term investments in the water and sewage treatment systems that should enable it to provide good infrastructure to its residents for decades to come.

The police department also recently invested in a K9 unit to mitigate drug problems in Albany. The new dog, Griffin, is trained in searching for fentanyl and heroin, and would be useful in searching for missing persons.

A small town can accomplish beautiful things for its residents, but that always requires many different people coming together. Building the new amphitheater required close cooperation between the school district, the town leadership and even a local farmer, Jeff Smoot of Smoot farms, who volunteered his time and heavy equipment to level the field for the amphitheater.Albany

“It’s all been a labor of love, just trying to build a good community,” Dunnuck says.

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