SARATOGA: Board OKs county water project

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors approved the financial plan for the county water project on Tuesday, Feb. 27, while four supervisors voted against the plan.

Democrats Joanne Yepsen and Cheryl Keyrouze, the two supervisors who represent Saratoga Springs, and Republicans Al Janik of Greenfield and board chairman Phil Barrett of Clifton Park all voted against the financial approval.

Barrett said he and the Clifton Park Water Authority supported the county plan as the regional answer to the county's water supply until changes were made in terms and rate guarantees. Barrett said the board should take time to study a proposal from Veolia Water North America, a French company that has offered to run pipeline from an aquifer in Schenectady County to the tech park for $22 million. The CPWA heard a proposal from Veolia representatives last month.

Supervisor John Lawler, R-Waterford, called Barrett's vote a conflict of interest, saying Barrett can't be a supporter of both plans.

Barrett said he was not surprised about the outcome of the vote, but wanted to get word out that there are alternatives to the county plan. The last thing I want to happen is to have any information kept from people about what the realities were, he said.

Keyrouze issued a statement before the vote urging the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors to table a vote on the county water system business plan. She said she believes the board should open up public hearings on the proposed project in an effort to better inform the community and listen to the concerns and suggestions of the general public. She said she opposes the business plan as it stands because it relies on state and federal funding that is purely based on "speculation and false numbers," as neither the state nor federal budgets have been finalized.

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