Friday, December 31, 2004

Three Council Members Vote to Sell City Down River, and Other Grim Jottings

Three Council Members Vote to Sell City Down River, and Other Grim Jottings
by Jim Kunstler
 Claiming to be "family men" with deep concern for the city, council members Lenz, Towne and Curley voted to back state and county Republican bosses in a scheme to promote suburban real estate development by running a water line south from the Hudson River through Saratoga County. In the same Dec 21 council session, the three Republican stooges voted down a motion to keep open the city's option to draw water from Saratoga Lake.
     Lenz, Towne, and Curley voted to cede the city's future control of its water supply to the County Board of Supervisors in the face of warnings from the city's own engineering consultants that the lake proposal was by far a better choice. The three Republicans also voted to not submit the city's completed environmental review for the lake option to the State Department of Public Health, thus throwing out three years and $700,000 worth of work.
     The city plan to draw water from Saratoga Lake, which was fully permitted and ready to construct, would have cost under $20 million. The county plan to draw water from the Hudson River is estimated to cost at least $90 million, with most of the cost to be borne by city residents. Neither the engineering nor the environmental permitting for that project has begun and it is apt to take years. According to maps prepared by the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the county's proposed water intake between Glens Falls and Corinth is a PCB and toxic chemical hotspot. For most of the 20th century, International Paper operated a pulp plant at Corinth, which flushed factory wastes into the river. Currently, Corinth discharges treated sewage upstream of the proposed county water intake......