Official groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled for today marking the start of construction of the $4.2 billion computer chip manufacturing operation in Malta and Stillwater.
Meanwhile, plans for sewer connections and a back road to the GlobalFoundries property are moving forward even as the town of Stillwater pursues a court order to access private properties for construction, according to the town attorney.
Stillwater attorney James Trainor said a back road to the site is slated to be completed by the end of the year, but the town needs easements on private lands and some land owners have resisted.
“There is one last link to make this road and sewer project complete,” Trainor said. “We are filing a case against TDNI Properties for an easement on eight properties we need.”
Town Supervisor Shawn Connelly said TDNI, a Schenectady development company, had been negotiating with the town for the easement rights but talks stalled and the road project has to move forward.
“We have to get something in place now,” he said.
Trainor said the property along Cold Springs Road is part of a link from Saratoga Lake to the back entrance of the GlobalFoundries property.
In all, easements are needed on 83 properties. Of those, 67 owners volunteered to give easements and three others are likely to sign off, three easements were taken by court order and the rest are also likely to be settled by a judge, according to Trainor.
When property owners are forced to give an easement, they are compensated.
Trainor said state Supreme Court Judge Frank Williams already granted the town access to a property at Coons Crossing Road and Route 67 for the installation of a sewer line and wider roads.
The town filed that eminent domain proceeding in May against Ruth and Thomas Sullivan and Linda Rowland, owners of the 25-foot strip of land needed for a sewer line and road widening project for the computer chip plant.
“We have obtained the permanent easement and all that remains is how the fee that will be paid will be split up,” he said.
Ruth Sullivan and her daughter Linda Rowland own three-fourths of the land and Sullivan’s brother-in-law, Thomas Sullivan, owns the remaining quarter. Trainor said the court set the easement purchase price at $4,700 and will determine the payoff split.
In a related matter, Connelly said he expects to receive two checks from GlobalFoundries once groundbreaking takes place today. One, for $250,000, is the first installment to fund a foundation for future town projects. The other will be for $100,000 and will pay the cost of environmental studies on the factory property.
Connelly said the seven-member board, which will oversee the foundation’s trust fund, will be made up of three GlobalFoundries employees, three appointees by the Town Board and one member chosen by the other six.
“The trust will total $1 million when it’s fully funded and the town will be able to use part of the interest from the trust for projects to benefit Stillwater citizens.
“We will receive the full $1 million over four years with the first installment due the day of groundbreaking,” Connelly said.