Attorney: Land swap unnecessary for Latham Water Tank project

An attorney representing the Latham Water District said Monday, Oct. 26, that no land swap is necessary for plans to go forward with the Latham Water Tank Removal Project as was otherwise specified in a resolution passed unanimously by the Colonie Town Board on Thursday, Aug. 6.

Attorney John Bailey said that discussions regarding an easement on property owned by Guptill Holding Corp. that was needed so that the town could install water pipes to be used for the project were held on the same day, in the same room as another discussion about the town swapping up to 9.5 acres of town-owned land for up to 9.29 acres of wetland area and a kettle bog, owned by Guptill Holding Corp., but that the two discussions were unrelated.

These discussions were occurring simultaneously and it's possible that they got thrown in the same resolution, but they really should have been separate, Bailey said. "These things, for reasons I don't understand, have become very confused."

Superintendent of the Latham Water District John Frazer also confirmed that a land swap is not necessary to the project's completion. While Guptill Holding Corp. allowed the town to go on its land to install water pipes on approximately .11 acres of land, the costs of doing so, about $1,000 according to Doug Myers, director of public affairs for the Albany County International Airport Authority, are being covered by the Airport Authority and federal stimulus funds.

The tank was scheduled to be removed after the Federal Aviation Administration determined the tank to be in the way of the flight path to the Albany International Airport.

According to Myers, the scope of the project includes building a new tower, funding the new lines that come from the water treatment facility through both public and private land in Latham and making that tower operational.

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