EDITORIAL: Vote yes on Ballston Lake sewer referendum

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Categories: Editorial, Opinion

Whether you’re a deed holder who supports or opposes the Ballston Lake sewer project, you need to vote yes in Monday’s special election to accept a $5 million state grant that will support construction of the project.

Not only would voting against accepting the grant deprive residents in the towns of Ballston and Clifton Park of money necessary to complete the project, voting against it will force them to return $700,000 in grant money they’ve already spent.

Turning down money is one thing.

Throwing good money after bad is another.

But failing to protect a lake, whose already-poor water quality will only continue to get worse over time without a sewer project, would be a generational mistake that may never be corrected.

Citizens are right to be concerned over the rising cost of the project, which has now almost doubled from when the original vote was held in 2015.

Monday’s referendum authorizes the price tag to increase from about $12.76 million to about $17.76 million.

And opponents’ original concerns about the costs of a one-time connection into the new system once it’s complete haven’t gone away. Hookups are still estimated at between $3,500 and $10,000.

But even though the cost of the project has soared over time, homeowners actually will be paying slightly less per year for service than the original estimates from five years ago.

The new estimate of $873 per year per household, or about $72 per month, is around $35 less per year than residents were told in 2015.

The ballot resolution states that the $5 million increase in cost will come at no additional cost to residents of the district.

The vote is scheduled for noon to 8 p.m. Monday.

Ballston residents will vote in Ballston Town Hall on Charlton Road in Ballston Spa, while Clifton Park residents living on the southeast corner of the lake will vote at the Ballston Lake fire station on Route 146A in Ballston Lake.

Only individuals listed as owners of real property within the proposed district boundaries as of the time of the vote are eligible.

If you care about the future of the lake, if you care about water quality and the environment, if you care about the future of your community, you need to come out and vote yes on this referendum.

There’s really no other choice.

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