Saratoga County

Ballston Town Board to vote on sewer district for lake area

The Ballston Town Board is expected to officially form the Ballston Lake sewer district at a special

The Ballston Town Board is expected to officially form the Ballston Lake sewer district at a special meeting tonight.

Following approval for its formation by the state Comptroller’s Office, the board will vote on creating the town’s first sewer district at a 6:30 p.m. meeting, Town Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak said.

The $10.2 million project will install sewers around Ballston Lake in an effort to improve the lake’s water quality,

Voters around Ballston Lake approved its formation last October, but the board couldn’t formally create it until the Comptroller’s Office approved it. That office gave its blessing last week, after reviewing the project finances since November.

“It’s a major milestone,” Szczepaniak said.

Szczepaniak said the Town Board isn’t ready to vote on financing for the project. The town anticipates applying for funding from the State Clean Water Revolving Fund, which would offer it for a low-interest rate.

Supporters of the project have argued over the past couple years that bringing sewers to the year-round homes and seasonal camps that surround the 3.5-mile lake would help address rising phosphorous levels that may be causing algae blooms and reduce bacterial runoff into the lake. The lake’s current conditions have led the state Department of Environmental Conservation to declare it an “impaired water body.”

Paying for the sewers is expected to cost property owners an average of $907 per year, with financing for 30 years through the resolving loan fund.

While much of the attention was focused on protecting the quality of Ballston Lake’s waters, the district will also include the hamlet of Ballston Lake, at the southern tip of the lake. There, the Buell Heights residential neighborhood has a long history of septic system problems severe enough to create odors, and some businesses need to pump out their septic tanks frequently.

Stevens Elementary School will also be connected to the sewers.

The sewers will be connected to the Saratoga County Sewer District treatment system at the northern end of the lake, connecting into a trunk line in the town of Malta.

Szczepaniak said it is currently estimated that actual construction of sewers is three years away.

Other than a few properties on the outskirts of Ballston Spa, there are no other properties served by sewers in the town of Ballston.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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