Categories: Saratoga County
BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga County Water Authority announced plans Tuesday to extend water infrastructure to the towns of Halfmoon and Waterford, as well as the city of Mechanicville.
At a meeting of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, Saratoga County Water Authority Chairman Jack Lawler, who is also the Waterford town Supervisor, presented the board with a $1 million check to pay back part of the $6 million of debt owed to the county.
The anticipated water needs of the GlobalFoundries semiconductor manufacturing facility, announced in 2006, spurred construction of the $67 million water system, which began operating in early 2010.
The $6 million loan from the county came from the county’s general fund in 2007 to help expand access to the GlobalFoundries plant and further secure their arrival, according to county spokesman Ridge Harris. Local municipalities were unable to provide enough fresh water to such a facility.
When GlobalFoundries opened in Malta in 2011, the semiconductor and nanotechnology plant’s substantial need for water — around 4 million gallons per day — finally resulted in an official agreement between the water authority and the company in early 2012. The agreement stipulated two different prices GlobalFoundries would pay for water, depending on whether the facility exceeded 4 million gallons per day, with the county loans covering the rest of the expenses in expanding access.
The water authority made a payment of $2 million to the county in 2017.
Lawler said that, in addition to providing water “wholesale” to GlobalFoundries and Stewart’s Shops, the 2019 expansion will bring the number of people who get their water from the authority to more than 130,000.
“We’re grateful to Saratoga County for these investments that expand the reach and service capabilities of the Water Authority,” Lawler said. “We take infrastructure seriously, and our expansion plans will benefit more residents in the years ahead and help maintain the superior quality of life that is synonymous with Saratoga County.”
Lawler said the plan is for the authority to pay the county back in $1 million increments each year until the loans are paid off with interest by 2021.