Albany International Airport officials have responded to the town's request to further explore a tree-height water tower to be located in Loudonville to replace the two existing towers on Utica Avenue in Latham.
In an executive session on Monday, Feb. 5, the Airport Authority determined that the proposed tank would have an impact on the area viewshed. The proposal, which would locate the tower at the Sanderson Farm site in Loudonville, will now undergo an environmental assessment and a public comment period before a decision can be made.
This is a major step forward in complying with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) directive that the water towers be moved from their present location, said authority Spokesman Doug Myers, adding, "We recognize that the public feels there is an impact on their viewshed."
In the late '90s, the FAA listed the existing Utica Avenue towers as an obstruction to the approach of the airport's runway 28, which runs from east to west.
The administration urged the authority to begin negotiations with the town to take them down. The town and authority hired engineers to explore the relocation options. Several public meetings have occurred since then, and from there a list of nine potential sites were named.
In December, town 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. They requested that the airport further explore the impact of the replacement tower and required infrastructure of a tree-height tank.
The town also asked the authority to further explore a potential underground tank at the Loudonville site.
Federal money will be made available to fund the more than $8 million proposal for replacement of the towers.
Two years ago, the town drew fire from residents of Loudonville when they learned that the Sanderson site could become the new home of 135-foot hydropillar water tower.