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Colonie board picks Sanderson site for water towers

Colonie town board members have decided to forward their opinions to Albany County Airport Authority officials on what they think would be the ideal site for a new water tank to replace the towers at Utica Ave.

Town Attorney Arnis Zilgme polled board members about their preferences for the location and height of the towers as the airport looks to expand upon environmental review of potential relocation sites.

Board members agreed that the old Sanderson Farm site in Loudonville would best suit the needs of the Latham Water District's gravity-fed system. Town board member Kevin Bronner suggested that the new tower should be built at the Latham Utica Avenue site and not in Loudonville. He did agree that the Sanderson site should be looked into further.

Last year the town drew fire from residents of Loudonville upon learning that the site could become the new home of 135-foot hydro-pillar water tower.

However, board members agreed that their recommendation to the Airport Authority include an option to explore a tower equal to the height of existing trees in the area. In addition to the varying heights, the town is also asking the authority to further explore a potential underground tank at the Loudonville site.

The board decision will provide some direction for the authority as it narrows its choices for the site of the new tower, said Zilgme. The recommendations to the authority are to ensure that the town's interests are met.

Several years ago, the Federal Aviation Administration listed the two towers as a hazard to approaching aircraft and directed the authority to begin negotiations with the town to take them down. The town and authority hired engineers to explore relocation options. Several public meeting have occurred since then and from them a list of potential sites were named.

Federal money will be made available to fund the more than $8 million proposal for replacement of the towers.

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