Saratoga County

Towns to join forces on AMD planning

Officials in Malta and Stillwater will work together as the towns consider a proposed $3.2 billion c

Officials in Malta and Stillwater will work together as the towns consider a proposed $3.2 billion computer chip factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

Two members of one town’s planning board will sit as nonvoting members on the other town’s planning board whenever the proposed Advanced Micro Devices factory is discussed.

The nonvoting members will get planning documents before board meetings and will have the right to ask questions and make recommendations during the meetings.

Stillwater recently approved Malta Planning Board members Glen Rockwood and Fred Larson as the nonvoting members on its board for the rest of the year.

The arrangement was made in 2005 when the towns agreed to share tax revenue from the Luther Forest Technology Park, which is located in both Malta and Stillwater.

However, officials said, little collaboration between the towns had been necessary prior to AMD’s initial application last month.

“The schedule of meetings and the amount of different tasks that needs to be accomplished has increased dramatically since the formal application has been made,” Rockwood said.

“This is the best option to keep us both informed about what’s happening in each other’s turf.”

Rockwood is the chairman of Malta’s Planning Board.

“It’s extremely important that we talk, that we understand each other’s plans and that we coordinate our activities,” Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville said. “We do get along very well with Stillwater.”

Longtime Stillwater Planning Board member Peter Buck will represent the town on Malta’s Planning Board.

“I think it’s just going to allow the boards to work together,” Stillwater Supervisor Shawn Connelly said. “Any questions that come up will be brought to both boards at the same time.”

Connelly said that the Town Board wants to wait until it fills a vacant spot on the Planning Board before choosing a second nonvoting member for Malta’s board.

“We want to make sure that we know exactly what Malta is doing,” Connelly said. “We’re obviously going to be second in this process.”

AMD recently submitted changes it wanted to see in the Luther Forest Technology Campus planned development district in the two towns.

The company’s newest plan calls for three possible factories, with two in Malta and one in Stillwater.

Under the 2005 agreement, 75 percent of the tax revenue from computer chip factories built in Malta at the Luther Forest Technology Campus will go to Malta and the Ballston Spa School District.

The other 25 percent will go to Stillwater and its school district. Taxes will be shared until a computer chip factory is built on the campus in Stillwater.

“The number we have been using is that [each factory] probably will have an assessment of somewhere of three-quarters of a billion dollars,” Sausville said. “It’s a very rough estimate.”

Malta town Assessor Susan Otis said that it is too early to estimate exactly how much taxes the towns and school districts should expect to receive from the possible factories.

AMD must break ground on the project by July 2009 to qualify for $1.2 billion in tax breaks under an agreement the company signed with the state in 2006.

The company would employ more than 1,450 people at the technology park if it builds there.

Categories: Schenectady County

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