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Guilderland, Watervliet consider sharing water plant

Guilderland officials said the town is joining with Watervliet to apply for grant money to build a state-of-the-art water treatment facility.

The plan is to further consolidate services, something municipalities have been urged to do by Gov. David Paterson in his State of the State address.

Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion said the town of Guilderland and the City of Watervliet discussed a significant project to combine their water filtration facilities.

Guilderland's water filtration facility is in Industrial Park, and pulls water from the same place the City of Watervliet does -- the Watervliet reservoir. The already convenient scenario helped spark discussions to file for the startup grant.

Watervliet Mayor Mike Manning said the discussions are in the most preliminary stages, and nothing has been decided yet.

"We brought it up. Ken [Runion] and his staff have been receptive," he said. "We proposed that we build a joint facility out there since we share the same water."

He said Watervliet's plant is close to 100 years old, and a new facility could increase efficiency and provide more modern means to deliver water to the residents of both municipalities.

Manning said one of the difficulties would be to determine who runs the plant. There could be joint authority, but it is unclear what would be the best way to go about it. He also said the state might need to create legislation to form a governing entity, since the city or town might not have the authority needed.

He said these issues would need to be hashed out as plans progressed. The cost of planning the consolidation would be paid for by a "local efficiency grant," which could help pay for a study of the proposal and then possibly a new facility.

Manning said the "rough" cost of a facility of that magnitude would be between $10 million and $12 million, based on a calculation of approximately $1 million per million gallons per day. He said the facility would serve both towns, and potentially other municipalities, with about 10 million gallons daily.

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