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Gilbert Road to get water

A handful of residents on Gilbert Road in the City of Saratoga Springs are on their way to being put on city water, after the City Council voted to establish a water district and awarded a bid to extend a water line to their neighborhood.

Nine existing homes will begin paying fees of $335 per year starting in 2010 and continuing for the next 30 years. In addition, any undeveloped properties that wish to hook up in the future will be assessed a $3,000 fee per connection.

A petition signed by eight residents of the area supporting the formation of the water district and the associated fees was submitted into the record. The residents have expressed concern about water quality in their area, but city officials say that the project will improve water safety for many more residents.

The city is concerned about the vitality of aging pipes that cross over the Northway to service the eastern part of town. By extending the waterline up Gilbert Road, the two water mains crossing I-87 can be connected in a loop, ensuring that service would be continued east of the Northway in the even one of the pipes broke (a repair that would no doubt be delayed due to the busy highway).

This project is very important for redundancy, but also for the people of Gilbert Road who currently have no water, said Finance Commissioner Ken Ivins on Tuesday.

City officials pegged the cost of the expansion at $700,000 earlier this year, and the City Council gave its approval to bond that amount. A competitive market for contractors means that bids came in well under expectations, however, and a contract was awarded to Highlander Construction for $351,265.

The city will bond $400,000 to deal with contingencies. With assumed interest, the project stands to cost the city $725,000, minus the fees collected from customers in the district.

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