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Voorheesville to exit county Stormwater Coalition

Village trustees cite increased fee in plans for departure

— There will be one fewer municipal partner in the Stormwater Coalition of Albany County, after the organization doubled its fees for the Village of Voorheesville.

Village Board of Trustees members signaled their intention to leave the county Stormwater Coalition during a workshop meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, after the annual membership fee for the village was more than doubled to around $7,300, according to Mayor Robert Conway. The independent coalition relies on membership fees to cover administrative expenses. The agency chose to hire a second full-time employee this year.

Conway said the village had joined the Stormwater Coalition for a “strength in numbers” approach and possibly to offer some sort of “protection” from state and federal regulations.

“I like the idea of being part of the coalition, because we are always talking about partnering with neighboring communities … and I see the value of it,” Conway said. “I am not worried that we don’t have capable people to handle it.”

Stormwater Coalition Program Coordinator Nancy Heinzen said as of now, Voorheesville is the only member signaling its intent to leave the organization next year. The Town of Guilderland previously left, but rejoined after less than a year. With Voorheesville’s exit, there will be 10 members in the coalition.

“It is always an unknown if the municipalities will come back and recommit again the following year,” Heinzen said. “Every municipality is trying to decide how to get a handle on these regulations.”

The coalition had received a grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to hire someone for two years to complete mapping of stormwater systems.

“I think the group felt the work of the mapping project was really valuable to the municipalities, and being that the green stormwater regulations are asking more of the municipalities … it would be a benefit to everyone to expand the staffing,” Heinzen said.

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