Candidates in Malta spar

— Young said it’s “tough to decide what the future will bring” but was hopeful for growth within the town.

“I think we will see some population growth. Malta is a fabulous place to live. We are building homes, there’s new approved housing developments,” said Young. “Hopefully we’ll see some growth because I think it’s good for all of us.”

For Klotz, population growth via ancillary businesses that will pop up around town to support GlobalFoundries and the fluctuating economy hold more weight.

“As gas prices continue to rise, people will want to live closer to work,” said Klotz. “Housing in Malta will be needed and will continue to be a market for housing.”

Another hot topic was the proposed downtown district. Many audience members were curious to know candidates’ stances on a moratorium on building height and efforts to prevent sprawl.

Henry, a Malta resident for 20 years, said a big reason she’s running for Town Council is because she’s “concerned about the direction and current vision” on the board, including plans for a downtown center.

“I don’t necessarily support the moratorium the town has imposed. The town has developed a new downtown standard which reduces the height and condenses the downtown from the previous plan,” said Henry.

Klotz pointed out the moratorium was only a partial moratorium and was enacted by a committee specifically formed to tweak the downtown plan.

“The only thing this does is reduce building heights by 9 feet, so the maximum is only 45 instead of 54 in that part of town,” said Klotz.

Thomas said the efforts of the downtown planning committee were an example of how she’s been “successful in bringing people together” to work toward a common goal.

Sausville has been pushing for a downtown center with a “small town, hamlet” feel and said creating a high-density core in town would promote urban sprawl.

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