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MALTA: Going under

On Thursday, July 19, members of the Malta Town Board sat down with representatives from Luther Forest Technology Campus, National Grid and NYSEG to discuss the recent proposal to bury 1.1 miles of a previously proposed above-ground transmission line that will bring electricity into the site. Although town officials expressed their support for the new plan, they said a number of items will still need to be worked out between all parties before the project moves further.

The board made no decisions, but did agree to meet for another workshop session with the applicant and other parties. Town board members ultimately said they had eight areas which needed clarification.

John Munsey, an engineer for C.T. Male who is serving as the project manager for the LFTC project, assured the board that there has been no change to the buffers established in the planned development district (PDD) legislation. The board, however, asked to review those and to have a map made available which specifically identified which segments of the transmission line were going underground, which would remain above ground, and identify where the transition sub-station will be located. The board also wants to view renderings to get a feel for the exact appearance of the sub-station.

The transition sub-station was not included in previous presentations as it was not necessary with all the transmission lines running above ground. The change to the plans will require the transition sub-station, which LFTC representatives told the planning board, at its June 19 meeting, would be approximately 95-by-95 feet square and about 15 feet high.

Additionally, the board asked LFTC to address the construction impacts of the underground transmission system and insure that there is enough room for the repair of those lines once Park Place is fully developed. Saratoga Economic Development Corporation has entered into easements with the developer of Park Place to allow the transmission lines to run beneath their project. Although that project was approved several years ago, it is just now at the point of construction. The maps presented at last week's meetings indicate that the underground transmission lines will be built primarily underneath an alleyway that serves as the primary driveway access for some of the properties in the Park Place development. The board was concerned that residents would be adversely impacted if and when repairs are needed.

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