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Wilton homeowners seek Saratoga Springs water

As residents of a Wilton subdivision await the outcome of a lawsuit seeking to remedy their water woes filed against town officials and the builder of the development, they have turned to Saratoga Springs city officials seeking potable water.

Since 2000, residents of Highland Hills in Wilton said they have lived with poor water supplies in terms of quality and quantity. Many have said they tried new technologies to reduce their water consumption and bolster supply and quality, but most efforts have been to no avail.

Residents were before the Saratoga Springs City Council Tuesday, March 4, asking if the city could help them by linking them with a city main not 1,000 feet from the 49-lot subdivision. The homes were built between 1990 and 2004.

We think that after looking at this, the real solution is for these people to have municipal water, said Cheryl Roberts, an attorney with the Albany law office of Marc S. Gerstman, who is representing 17 homeowners in the federal suit against Wilton officials, Highland Hills builder John Staalesen and three area real-estate agents.

As the suit plays out in the Northern District of New York federal court, residents say they are still without adequate water and are hoping that Saratoga Springs can help them out.

Their hope is that a city-funded main extension will service them and a special taxing district could be set up to pay for it. Another option could be to fund the extension, estimated at $1.3 million less than 10 years ago, through a court settlement, said Roberts.

The first phase of Highland Hills was originally built in the late 1980s, said Roberts. From then on, 17 homeowners are contending that Wilton building officials allowed builders to construct homes without providing adequate water resources. To compound the issue, the suit alleges, builders used an unlicensed well driller to dig 20-foot deep holes to serve as wells.

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