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Saratoga Springs mayor refutes water authority comments

Despite reports to the contrary, Mayor Valerie Keehn says Saratoga Springs has no intention of hooking into the Saratoga County water system.

Keehn's refute comes on the heels of comments made by Saratoga County Water Authority Chairman Jack Lawler that he had received a letter of interest from the city regarding the water system. Lawler listed Saratoga Springs among interested parties when discussing a list of potential customers that he had to send to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

I have made it very clear to the DEC that the city has no intention of hooking into the Hudson River for our water, said Keehn at the Tuesday, Dec. 18, meeting of the Saratoga Springs City Council.

The county's plan is to draw water from the Hudson River aquifer in Moreau and pipe it along the Northway to the southern end of the county, where it will serve the Luther Forest Technology Campus. It has an estimated price tag of $67 million.

Lawler announced at a Wednesday, Dec. 12, meeting of the county water authority that there is more interest in the water plan now than there has ever been. According to Lawler, officials from Clifton Park, Stillwater, Saratoga Springs and Moreau all said they were interested in having a connection installed in their community, but no one offered to sign a contract for water.

"The picture looks brighter than it ever has," Lawler said.

As of this writing, only Ballston, Wilton and the Luther Forest Technology Campus Development Corp. have signed contracts to buy water.

Some Saratoga Springs residents spoke against the county water system and Lawler's assertion that the city is interested.

"What this all comes down to is the county and John Lawler trying to push this water system down our throats," said resident Kyle York.

But some residents spoke in favor of the county plan, at least in favor of having emergency hookups within the city limits.

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