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Residents oppose city water project

One week after the Saratoga County water project was approved to go out to bid, some Saratoga Springs residents are criticizing the city's decision to establish its own water system, separate from the county's.

The city's water project would use Saratoga Lake as its primary source and has an estimated price tag of $35 million, which would be paid for by city taxpayers. The county's water project, which could provide water to Moreau, Greenfield, Wilton, Saratoga Springs, Milton, Ballston Spa, Malta, and Clifton Park, and will be the primary source of water for the AMD Chip Fabrication Plant, has an estimated cost of $76 million, which would come from county coffers.

We should go with the county water project. It's already been decided. It's going to happen, resident Dave Bronner told the City of Saratoga Springs City Council at its Sept. 5 meeting. "We should get on board with our neighbors in Saratoga County and get this done, and get it done properly."

Public Works Commissioner Thomas McTygue took issue with Bronner's assertion that the county's plan was a panacea for the city's water problems.

"The county plan " there's no free lunch. Do you want to pay a 55 percent increase in your water bill from the county? Or do you want to pay a 29 percent increase in the city?" he asked Bronner.

Bill McTygue, director of public works, said the city is acting in accordance with the wishes of its people. "This community has not shown any desire to bring water from the Hudson River," he said, adding, "The county plan is without customers."

At press time, the county had agreements, but not contracts, to sell water to the town of Ballston and Wilton. Clifton Park had previously agreed to buy water, but has yet to sign a contract.

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