Malta weighs AMD options

"This program commits us to review the application and have a process to make public that information," said Vana.

Vana also said that there would be opportunities for town groups to come along to site visits as well. "Really what we're hoping to do is promote transparency with the program," he said.

There was some concern about the fact that NYEL is a voluntary program; even if AMD enrolled in it, it could drop out at any time without repercussions. The incentives aren't necessarily direct, either. Vana said that the real payback would be a better image and relationship with the DEC. "For a lot of the bigger companies, it's the recognition and public relations," he said.

According to Town of Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville, language could be written into the current legislation that would require AMD to apply and qualify for the program. If they fail to qualify, however, the current legislation has provisions to ensure AMD would meet the industry's and government's environmental standards.

AMD would have until the end of July 2009, to commit to Luther Forest Technology Campus and still receive $1.25 billion in state incentives.

In other business, the town board also heard a presentation from the state Department of Transportation regarding construction on the Malta Avenue Bridge. Department representative Craig Blake explained that construction will be slated for spring 2010, and should last 100 days or less, for an opening around the end of July.

Blake addressed previous concerns that Old Post Road would be used as a detour, assuring the town that traffic will be rerouted along Routes 50, 67 and 9 instead. He also said that DOT's plans for the bridge include a 5-foot-wide pedestrian walkway/bike path on the bridge.

The town board also set a public hearing for equestrian use in R-1 zones for Monday, July 7, at 6:55 p.m. The town has been considering extending special use permits for those who live in R-1 zones to keep horses. The board proposed requiring a minimum parcel size of 3 acres and setbacks of 50 feet on the front and sides of properties and 30 feet in the rear, as well as 200 feet of frontage. Residents residing in R-1 zones would still have to submit a special use permit application to the town's Planning Board before keeping horses if such legislation passes.""

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