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SARATOGA COUNTY: Water project hits snag

The state and Advanced Micro Devices have signed an agreement that would see a $3.2 billion plant constructed in the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta between 2007 and 2009, but the chip fab company hasn't signed a water purchase contract. Instead, the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. signed on behalf of Luther Forest tenants, including the proposed AMD chip fabrication plant. Together, those contracts total 3.2 million gallons a day. AMD has an agreement with the state to receive $1.2 billion in incentives if it starts plant construction by July 2009.

Waterford Supervisor John Lawler, who is also chairman of the water authority, said the DEC's actions would have no impact on the taxpayer or the construction schedule of the water system.

Lawler said the state is aware of the contracts that have been signed since the original permit was issued in 2006.

"The public necessity of this is apparent," he said.

Lawler said that reverting control back to the Board of Supervisors would be easy, and could be done as soon as its Tuesday, Dec. 18 meeting.

This has not been the only bump in the road for the water project.

In addition to the town of Ballston having dual water contracts with both Glenville and Saratoga County, Alex Mackay, a private water provider who wants to sell water to the tech park, has filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the constitutionality of allowing the water line to be installed in Moreau Lake State Park.

Some residents and businesses have refused to allow easements for the waterline to cross their land. One landowner, the YMCA of Saratoga, wants $150,000 for its easement. Lawler said the property may be taken by eminent domain.

Saratoga Springs Supervisors Joanne Yepsen and Cheryl Keyrouze have also been vocal opponents of the water project, along with outgoing Saratoga Springs Public Works Commissioner Thomas McTygue. However, Keyrouze lost her seat to Republican Matthew Veitch, and a shift in the political climate in Saratoga Springs in the upcoming year may make the city more sympathetic to the project.""

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