BALLSTON: Oversight gives town two water suppliers

Board buys into water system amid protest

On March 6, 2007, Callanan and board members Townley, James Briaddy, Robert Boice and Mary Beth Hynes voted to allow Callanan to sign a contract with the county water system as its largest customer to date.

According to the contract, Ballston will purchase a minimum of 375,000 gallons per day for a period of 10 years at a start-up rate of $2.05 per 1,000 gallons from the date of initial delivery of water to the town through Dec. 31 of the following year.

About 70 people crowded town hall to ask the board to table the vote until the public had more information about why Ballston customers would benefit from switching water suppliers. Questions focused on the quality and cost of the county water, and whether the system was being built primarily in anticipation of the arrival of the AMD chip-fab plant to Luther Forest in Malta. The residents also asked why the nearly 2,000 water customers couldn't be polled to determine their opinion, and why information wasn't published in the town newsletter.

Before the board's vote, Glenville's Commissioner of Public Works Richard LeClair asked the Ballston board to sit down and look at the current contract, the costs and Glenville's ability to deliver good water in any volume required by Ballston.

Official minutes from the Ballston town board meeting on March 6, 2007, show that LeClair "stated that the town of Glenville now has the capability of selling more water than the town of Ballston can store. The town of Glenville would be willing to meet with the town of Ballston and would be willing to help."

On Monday, Oct. 29, LeClair said his attendance at the board meeting was the first and only time the Ballston town board allowed him to speak, and that he believed his presence was unwelcome.

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