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Spirits high as GlobalFoundries breaks ground on new plant

With groundbreaking made, the towns of Malta and Stillwater, where the plant will be located, are to begin receiving $5 million in community development money. $1 million of that is earmarked for the creation of a 32-acre recreational complex at LFTC.

According to Town of Malta Director of Parks, Recreation and Human Services Audrey Ball, the layout for the ballfields has been completed, but there are no utilities at the site and it will be some time before construction can be started.

The remaining money will be placed in community trusts, where it will collect interest and be used for quality of life improvements.

In addition to the contributions, it is widely believed that the presence of Fab 2 will cause a significant uptick in business all around the area.

"Some of the numbers that were given to us say that our [county] sales tax could double, and that's certainly a big help to any town," said Stillwater Supervisor Shawn Connelly.

Town of Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth said she hopes Fab 2 will mean commercial growth in her town, where a largely residential base means that residents must shoulder most of the burden of school taxes.

"I'm hoping that some of the spin-off businesses will locate in Ballston," she said. "Our only concern is that there might be only residential development," which could put more strain on the school system.

Malta itself is expecting to increase in size dramatically. Some of the most hotly debated issues facing town government is how to frame zoning in order to keep development in line with small town sensibilities.

"It's exciting looking forward to what's going to happen," said Supervisor Paul Sausville. "It's much more than a factory, it's about the transformation of our society and town into the 21st century."

While Gov. Paterson and many others at the groundbreaking have been convinced of the merits of the project, there is and always has been public opposition from those who believe it to be a poor investment, an unsustainable drain on resources or a threat to the character of the area.

Paterson, however, said that naysayers will be proven wrong.

"Whatever investment we made will be paid back over and over," he said. "Our new industries here in New York will consist of knowledge, technology and innovation."

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