New Scotland drafts moratorium following development plans

"This project could be an opportunity to the town," Widrick told residents. He asked those in attendance to be patient and that his company was not attempting to circumvent the town or its citizens.

The project would max out at 500,000 square feet, not the rumored 1.5 million, Widrick said.

Widrick said Wal-Mart was not being considered as a tenant and that it would not be "a sprawling mega-development." He also mentioned that Sphere would be willing improve the existing infrastructure, specifically naming water and sewer.

Currently there is not municipal water or sewer in the area, and a nearby senior housing project has made a deal for municipal water and services from the town of Bethlehem. Supervisor Jack Cunningham said he has not been contacted about water services from Sphere or any other developer.

"We do have a certain obligation to sell water to the town of New Scotland, as long as it doesn't exceed our availability," Cunningham said. "My guess would be that a project of that size would exceed our availability."

Over in New Scotland, Dolin said that Target might be involved as a possible tenant instead of Wal-Mart.

"The Target thing is really a guess on our part because they [Sphere] have dealt with them before," Dolin said. "But they didn't deny it."

Town Attorney Michael Mackey is currently drafting a moratorium with the input from town board members. The next New Scotland Town Board meeting is scheduled for April 9, but Dolin doubts the moratorium would be ready by then.

First it has to be drafted, he said, and then a public hearing would have to be held before the board could vote it on.


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