Categories: Schenectady County
The Town Board unanimously approved a plan Wednesday authorizing the extension of the Route 30 water district, even though the town doesn’t have an agreement from the city to provide water.
The town also has to apply to the state Comptroller’s Office for the extension because the town will be charging user fees and maintenance and debt service fees above the state’s limit.
According to Supervisor Thomas DiMezza, the water extension is expected to cost $3.5 million that the town has already borrowed.
The state Department of Transportation plans to improve Route 30 from the Amsterdam city limits near Wallins Corners Road north to Voorhees Road in Perth. Improvements include sidewalks, a new traffic signal and the realignment of Log City Road to intersect with Maple Avenue Extension.
The water extension up Route 30, along with a sewer extension down Log City Road, is expected to be built during those road improvements. The Town Board also approved the extension of the sewer district down Log City Road, which is expected to cost $150,000.
DiMezza said he has had informal talks with city officials about a contract to provide additional water to the town, and he said a formal meeting should occur next week. Currently the city charges the town 11⁄2 times the water rates for city residents.
DiMezza said currently the contract limits the town to 200,000 gallons per day. The town is seeking to increase that to 500,000 gallons per day. DiMezza said the town does not need the additional water immediately, but to encourage development he wants the ready supply.
Bill Grzyb, a former town supervisor, raised concerns during the town’s public comment period regarding the sewer extension on behalf of the handful of Route 30 residents who would be charged debt service and maintenance fees regardless of whether they hook into the water line. Grzyb said he is not opposed to the extension for commercial development, but he wants residents living along Route 30 to be exempt from paying the debt service and maintenance costs, unless they hook into the line.
Grzyb’s parents are in one of the few homes along Route 30 sandwiched among the commercial and business development that currently exists.
“No one minds commercial development,” he said, “but we have to be careful of the cost.”
Residents would be charged about $900 per year if they want to hook up to the water line and $197 annually if they don’t, according to the current plan. Grzyb said that when sewers were first installed along Route 30 to encourage commercial development, residents were exempt.
DiMezza said there is a slim chance that the residents would be exempt this time because the water line would increase the property values of those homes probably more than the $197 per year they would pay.
DiMezza said the one advantage to exempting residents is the town might not have to apply to the state Comptroller’s Office.
The state comptroller has established a rate ceiling of $613 annually for residents in such situations.