Ballston OKs budget

Councilwoman and member of the Water Authority Mary Beth Hynes said that she was "shocked" by the $600,000 estimate for the pump station, quoted by the town's engineer, CT Male Associates. Under former Supervisor Ray Callanan's tenure, the price was figured closer to $100,000. Regardless of price, officials aren't certain exactly when or how the station will be paid for.

Southworth said the project was held from the 2009 budget because it would raise taxes on water district users by over $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.

"There's really no way you can do that in these economic times," said Southworth. Bonding the price over five to 10 years would soften the blow to those in Water District No. 2, and is a possibility.

At the public hearing, a number of residents stood to denounce the town's planning when it comes to water service.

"The entire water system was consistently presented to the town residents as having no extra cost to the taxpayers," said Paul Simpson. "Now, we are being asked to fund a $600,000 item, which was apparently forgotten about in the board's rush to sign on with the county and be one of the good guys."

Resident Arnold Palmer said he was concerned about the long-term impact of bonding the projects.

"I don't think we need to become another Colonie," he said, citing a nearby town with a $19.4 million deficit.

Ballston officials said that buying water from two suppliers is a feasible proposition. Glenville water currently serves over 1,800 homes, and new developments mean another 500 are on the way.

"There are people in the Town of Ballston who are served by Glenville water who will never be served by Saratoga County," said Councilman Jim Briaddy.

According to Hynes, the real problem is the ad valorem tax charged in the Glenville contract, which costs Ballston $169,00 per year. If that can be negotiated out of the contract, she said that county water will probably equate to a cost savings to the town.

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