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Malta Town Board: The Process of Progress
MALTA— The Malta Town Board meeting on Monday, April 7 brought about significant actions on two fronts:
The first was the adoption, by a 4-1 vote (with Councilman Peter Klotz voting against) of the adoption of the Stewart’s Planned Development District (PDD) #315, which would eventually lead to the issuing of a building permit for a Stewart’s Shops (with gasoline pumps) and an Adirondack Trust branch office.
This building would be sighted on the high traffic roundabout at the intersection of NYS Route 67 and Luther Forest Boulevard – on the way to and from the nearby technology park.
As noted in Saratoga TODAY’s issue of February 28, the Stewart’s Corporation has offered a sum of $200,000 in seed money to the town, to pay for the costs of construction extending water lines (via Saratoga Water Services) along old Route 67 and Dugan Hill Road in a neighborhood to several homes, in the nearby neighborhood of Maltaville. Stewart’s agreed to not receive their building permit until this condition was completed.
A presentation/public hearing preceded the final vote, the last in a series over several town meetings, that was delivered by Mr. Tom Lewis, who has retired as Real Estate Representative at Stewart’s, but was staying on to shepherd this project through the process.
At Monday’s meeting, he delivered his portion of the proceedings before an audience which included Charles Wait, Jr. and Mr. Lewis’ successor at Stewart’s, Chuck Marshall.
On February 28, the story was subtitled “Growth That Works” and despite Klotz’ dissent, it says here that this was a favorable deal for the town and for everyone concerned. It is an example of a good public-private sector partnership that any place, let alone the Town of Malta, should want to replicate as often as possible.
The epitome of win-win. As in you get your water; I get a make-your-own sundae and some unleaded on the way home from the tech park. Mr. Lewis scored on his final drive and those who have seen him in this arena before were not at all surprised with the result.
The second front concerned a trio of resolutions regarding what is labeled the Round Lake Improvement Plan, or more commonly “the roundabouts”. The town board voted, also 4-1, but this time with Councilman John Hartzell voting no, to formally seek determination of the town itself as the lead agency, and to authorize the town’s designates to begin the process of eminent domain on several parcels along the corridor by evaluating the public benefit and providing a calculation of ‘just compensation offers’ to the given landowners for their parcels, a mix of both commercial and residential properties.
Round Lake resident Woody Sloat, in the pubic comment period, reminded the town board that continued action on roundabouts was contrary to the wishes of over 500 petition-singing area residents (see: mymaltany.nationbuilder.com) and later elaborated:
“A number of citizens who live in this area consist of professional engineers, educators, doctors, lawyers and law enforcement professionals who work in highway safety every day. These residents refused to be duped by the slanted statistical data that supports the point of view of individuals who created their position based on profit. The residents’ genuine concern is safety and quality of life.” Mr. Sloat said.
“It is a big disappointment to see the town supervisor and three of his councilpersons dismiss the 514 residents who appealed to their common sense. Their poor decision will not be forgotten.”
'Kids Helping Kids' 5K Walk To Benefit Campaign 'Springs For Life'
Bringing Water To A Community Half A World Away
By Colette Linton
SARATOGA SPRINGS— From history, to tourism and a city brand, the element of water is a facet of Saratoga Springs that permeates many aspects of life and business. However the funds to be raised on April 12 from the “Kids Helping Kids” 5K, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in this community will be directed to benefit another community halfway around the world.
St. Clements Regional Catholic School of Saratoga Springs and the St. Clements Roman Catholic Church since January have raised $27,365.03, as of March 25, for their campaign “Springs For Life”, an initiative to build five wells in Tigray, Ethiopia.
The campaign started when "Water to Thrive" Program Ambassador Suzanne Barrick moved to Saratoga Springs two and a half years ago from Texas.
She brought her experiences with the faith based nonprofit, which donates 100 percent of the funds it receives to building wells in Africa to Saratoga.
After seeing firsthand during a trip last year to Ethiopia the impact the wells her previous congregation funded, she decided to initiate a campaign at St. Clements Roman Catholic Church and the St. Clements Regional Catholic School.
During her trip, she wanted to experience a situation that many have a difficult time imagining: the daily four to six mile trek women and girls in Ethiopia walk for water. “It took me 15 minutes to stabilize the jerry can,” she said. The jerry can being the container weighing 30-45 lbs when filled with water and carried on one’s back.
“That was one of the things I wanted to do,” she said. “We like to think about what it is like, but until you actually do it, to think about the physical burden of doing it. When I was walking, it was exhausting but that you were actually carrying the water that was making your family sick: that was very difficult.”
"Springs For Life" has already received the coordinates of their first four wells to be built in Tigray, Ethiopia. Each well will not only to reach the wealth of the water table beneath the sun-drenched geography of developing countries in Africa, servicing about 250-500 people in a community, but it will cascade into improving other areas of life. to educate a team on how to maintain it as well as making available options for families.
“So what you find is when water projects are implemented, enrollment in schools go up, and the mothers the women can do other things, less commute, they water is healthier, and kids at school,” Barrick said. “And it’s a whole transformation of the quality of life that they have.”
The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that dig the wells also educate the community on how to properly maintain the equipment and about a level of sanitation that was not possible before.
“Kids Helping Kids” will be the final event to wrap up the campaign.
President and Founder of "Water To Thrive", located in Texas, Dick Moeller, visited St. Clements March 22 on World Water Day. Since the nation-wide program’s inception, 450 projects have been carried out to support approximately 210,000 people in four countries in Africa.
The average congregation raises between $5,000 and $10,000 to raise money for one or two projects, and that the amount of funds that St. Clements has aggregated is a great result, he said. “It has gone really well,” he said.
Ballston Board Shuts Down County Water; Public Never in Danger
BALLSTON – The Ballston Town Board voted at its Tuesday, October 8 meeting to suspend taking in water from the Saratoga County Water Authority. As of Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. the county water was shut off pursuant to that vote.
The town is now receiving water from the Town of Glenville in Schenectady County until further notice. Prior to this board action, Ballston had already been purchasing about 25-30 percent of its water from Glenville, or about 100,000 gallons per day, according to town Water Superintendent Joseph Whalen.
Whalen wanted to assure the public that they were never in any danger at any time.
“We take samples of all our water, all the time.” He said. “We always act well on the side of caution in the public interest.”
His department was aware of a contaminant problem at the county and was monitoring quarterly sample results.
“When the average levels of contaminants exceeded, even slightly, recommended levels, as they did for chlorination by-products and lead, my department has the authority to act proactively before a town board vote, and we did just that.”
The shutdown of county water at the town of Ballston was actually a two-stage process. Whalen, upon reviewing those latest testing levels, immediately reversed the proportions of water that Ballston procured—a 75/25 percentage of water in favor of the county became a 75/25 percent mix with the majority coming from Glenville in advance of the town board vote. Because the levels were above the recommended standards, even a small amount for a brief period of time, that is considered a violation that requires a public notification.
The town board voted subsequently to make it 100 percent from Glenville.
“The town board acted appropriately, given the parameters they work with and the time frame involved,” Whalen said. “But I believe that there has been a lot of misinformation put out in the media and elsewhere.”
“I understand this can sound scary—resident’s turn on their tap and they expect a certain result, as they have a right to—but the situation has been made to sound worse than it ever was, or ever will be for that matter. Again, I want to emphasize that my department and the town board acted several steps on the side of caution, and the public was never close to being in any peril.”
When asked what it would take to get the Town of Ballston to resume purchasing water from the county authority, Whalen said succinctly, “A lot of testing.” Over the period of the next few weeks, however, he expects that the county water will test much better. “They have certainly been aware that they have a problem, and I know they are working on it.”
Local Teen Spends Summer Fundraising for Wounded Warrior Project
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local student Colin Brady will once again be selling water outside of the Saratoga Race Course this summer season as he donates 25 percent of his profits to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization that works to help injured service members.