Saratoga County gets organized

Newly appointed chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors and town of Galway Supervisor George Hargrave will this year preside over a board that includes six new supervisors.

Of the 23 members of the county board of supervisors, Saratoga Springs Republican Matt Veitch, Town of Ballston Democrat Patti Southworth, Town of Stillwater Republican Shawn Connelly, Town of Moreau Democrat Preston Jenkins, Town of Greenfield Republican Richard Rowland, and Town of Hadley Republican Arthur Wright, are new.

Wright, who is on the county public works and social programs committees, said he is looking forward to working in the county to ease Advance Micro Devices into the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

That's the big one, he said. "That's our main priority. It's going to be an economic driver for the whole county."

Hargrave, in his first address as chairman, dedicated this year to the county taxpayer, and said he was counting on the expertise of all 23 of the county's supervisors to ease financial burdens on the county taxpayer.

While the county currently has a $28 million surplus, it also faces financial insecurity with the future of the Saratoga Race Course and AMD still up in the air. Two weeks past the deadline to name a franchise-holder for thoroughbred racing in the state, legislators have only put in place an interim agreement with the New York Racing Association, the current franchise holder. AMD has suffered a drop in stock prices and has yet to sign an agreement with the state to come to Luther Forest and receive $1.2 billion in incentives.

This could be coupled with tight federal and state budgets, Hargrave said.

"If it is a tight budget year for the state, they are going to send it right down to us," Hargrave said. "They are going to put it right on the counties and towns. And then racing, we could lose a lot of revenue from racing."

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