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Saratoga County breaks ground on water system

The water will serve tenants of the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The signing of the SEDC contract gives the authority three signed contracts totaling nearly 3.3 million gallons in daily water sales. The state and AMD have signed an agreement that would see a $3.2 billion plant constructed between 2007 and 2009, but the chip fab company hadn't signed a water purchase contract.

AMD has an agreement with the state that will give it $1.2 billion in incentives if it begins building the Luther Forest plant before July 2009 and employs at least 1,200 people. AMD's board of directors hasn't set a more definite time frame, but the company has been doing a detailed plant design for internal consideration.

"It's been a three-year struggle to get to this point. There were times I thought it wouldn't happen," said Ballston town Supervisor Raymond F. Callanan, chairman of the county board's Water Committee.

The county still has obstacles to overcome in the construction of the pipeline. The water authority needs easements from 140 property owners to put the pipe in the ground. While 40 property owners have already signed agreements, two have refused, according to County Attorney Mark Rider. He said the water authority will start eminent domain proceedings in cases where property owners refuse to grant easements

Rider also said the second-lowest bidder on the electrical work at the filtration plant sued because the contract allegedly went to the lowest bidder unfairly. Rider said if the authority must take the second-highest bidder, it will add $30,000 to the project.

In other water business:

The water authority voted to hire Waterford Town Attorney Craig Crist of the Dreyer Boyajian law firm on an as-needed basis. The authority will pay Crist $150 an hour.

The board approved language for an advertisement for an executive director and an administrative assistant. The members did not set a salary, but talked about using a pay scale similar to what county employees are paid at the Public Works Department where the starting salary for the commissioners' position is $97,500.

The board agreed to sign the memorandum of understanding the Board of Supervisors approved that details the transfer of the project from the supervisors to the water authority.

The members agree they would choose underwriters and an bond attorney by July to oversee the sale of $27 million worth of bonds that will generate $24 million for the project.

The members voted to spend up to $1,000 a month to rent office space in Ballston Spa.

The members chose Ballston Spa National Bank and will open an account with a $250,000 grant from the Board of Supervisors.

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