Stewart’s Shops and the town of Greenfield are talking to the Saratoga County Water Authority about supplying water to the Stewart’s ice cream plant on Route 9N.
Negotiations have only recently started, but all parties agree that they would benefit if public water were brought to Stewart’s and other locations in the southwest corner of Greenfield.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a Saratoga icon like Stewart’s,” said Water Authority Chairman John E. Lawler, R-Waterford.
Stewart’s President Gary Dake said the company is willing to front the estimated $600,000 cost of running a water main from the authority’s line near the Saratoga rail yard to the Stewart’s plant just over a mile away, where 375 people work.
Other potential customers are the approved but unbuilt Saratoga Polo Retreat project at Denton and Bloomfield roads, and the Prestwick Chase senior housing complex, which is looking to expand.
The town would need to form a municipal water district to buy water from the authority, and the district would then resell it to customers like Stewart’s.
“There’s opportunities in that area for growth,” said Greenfield Town Supervisor Richard Rowland.
Dake said the plant that makes ice cream and other products for the 324-shop convenience store chain uses about 110,000 gallons of water a day. The water is used to make the company’s beverages and also for washing and cleaning equipment.
The plant relies on groundwater wells. The plant’s water use has been growing, leading to the drilling of more wells. “We’re putting more straws into the same glass, and it’s becoming more of a problem,” Dake said.
The plant already has municipal sewer service.
The Saratoga Polo Retreat was given Greenfield town zoning approvals in 2007 for an $85 million project that would include a conference center, banquet hall, spa facilities and luxury apartments. Because of the cost, the partners are now looking to build in several phases rather than all at once, said Michael Bucci, one of the partners.
If it were fully built, he said the polo retreat would use about 55,000 gallons per day. He said there’s well water on site, but the state Health Department would prefer a municipal source.
Town officials think there’s other growth potential in the area, which is just outside Saratoga Springs, and homes along the route.
While the amount of water involved in a Greenfield district isn’t large by the authority’s standards, Lawler said: “We’ll take the long-term view. We’ll find a way to make this work.”
The authority, which draws is water from the Hudson River in Moreau, has been in operation since 2010. It currently sells between 3 million and 4 millions gallons per day, to customers that include the towns of Wilton, Ballston, Clifton Park and the village of Stillwater. Its biggest customer is the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant in Malta, which is currently using about 1.7 million gallons per day.
The authority is also in the early stages of talks with GlobalFoundries about providing enough water for a second chip fabrication plant at the company’s Fab 8 complex in the Luther Forest Technology Campus.