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Exit 11A study in Saratoga County spending proposal

Plan totaling $11.4M likely to be in budget due in Oct.

Monday, September 23, 2013
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— Saratoga County’s capital spending committee has approved an $11.4 million plan for 2014, including money for a traffic study that could lead to a new Northway exit in Malta.

The traffic study, for which the county is budgeting $50,000, would happen only if GlobalFoundries decides to go forward with a second computer chip factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The company is considering the project but has not committed to it.

Such a study would be needed to justify a Northway Exit 11A, which officials in Malta have talked about for a decade and believe would help lessen the impact GlobalFoundries employees have on local roads.

“This traffic study is something that would be needed if GlobalFoundries’ next phase is announced,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan R. Grattidge, R-Charlton.

The 2014 capital spending plan was approved at a meeting of the Long-Range Capital Planning Committee Monday in Ballston Spa.

While the plan isn’t set in stone, the spending items approved by the committee will probably be in the tentative 2014 county budget that will be released in late October.

The $11.4 million total is nearly $3 million more than the county is spending on capital projects this year. The biggest part of the increase is a $3 million project to replace the Central Avenue bridge over the Anthony Kill in Mechanicville. Federal and state funds will reimburse 95 percent of the cost.

The proposed traffic study would keep plans for the new exit moving forward.

The town boards in Malta and Stillwater this summer approved rezoning to allow the Fab 8.2 factory that GlobalFoundries is considering building. In the process, they dropped a previous requirement that Exit 11A be built for the next factory.

The provision was dropped at the company’s request, even though GlobalFoundries’ workforce, now at 2,100, could grow to 6,700 if Fab 8.2 is built. The company has made no final commitment, but if it does, it anticipates wanting to move more quickly than a new exit can be approved, designed, financed and built.

Town officials haven’t dropped the idea, though, and want to keep pursuing plans for the exit — though even under optimistic scenarios, it would take eight to 10 years.

The traffic study, which is projected to cost $500,000, would be needed to justify construction of the exit, Grattidge said. He said GlobalFoundries, the towns of Malta and Stillwater and probably other entities would pay the rest of the cost.

“If we can find any federal funding it would be a big help,” said Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville, who also sits on the committee.

In other committee decisions, county roads were slated for $4.6 million in reconstruction.

The public works department will rebuild just under 18 miles of road, including sections of Lake Hill Road in Ballston; Guideboard Road in Halfmoon; Crescent Road in Clifton Park; Mechanicville-Stillwater Road in Stillwater; Deans Corners-Wayville Road in Saratoga and Stillwater; Spier Falls Road in Corinth and Moreau; Fayville Road in Providence; Lake Desolation Road in Greenfield; and Sinclair Road in Edinburg.

The committee included in the budget $466,000 for a new salt storage shed at the county public works complex in Milton, and $250,000 for infrastructure needed to centralize the county’s 27 computer servers into a central server.

 
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