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Saratoga County breaks ground on water system

A shovelful wasn't enough for Joe Bruno.

After the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Saratoga County water system at Shenantaha Park in Malta, the senate majority leader put down his golden spade and hopped in an industrial-sized backhoe to show 'em how to get some work done.

Bruno, R-Brunswick, represents parts of Saratoga County and has channeled $33 million in state funding to the water plan.

"Joe Bruno has contributed the power of his office, the resources of his staff, his own commitment to get us to where we are today," county Water Authority Chairman John E. Lawler, R-Waterford, said.

"This really culminates several years of hard work," said Lawler. "The planning and the financing and the business plan are all in place."

True construction of the pipeline isn't scheduled to start until mid-July, but without the water commitment, microchip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices wouldn't have considered the Capital Region, Bruno said.

"I'm glad I'm where I am and can help direct resources to this region," said Bruno, who has been integral in other economic development projects in the capital district, such as attracting International Sematech to Albany and a GE digital mammography plant to Rensselaer County.

The county water plan calls for tapping the Hudson in Moreau Lake State Park and piping water along a 28-mile route through the Northway corridor that will in part follow the Zim Smith trail right-of-way. Towns and private buyers along the route will be able to purchase water.

In February, the county approved a business plan calling for the authority to have contracts to sell 3 million gallons per day before construction starts. Since then, the towns of Wilton and Ballston have signed contracts totaling 875,000 gallons of water per day.

The Saratoga Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) signed a contract April 17 to buy 2.45 million gallons of water a day from the County Water Authority.

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