BALLSTON –Residents living in Water District 2, Water District 5, Water District 6 and Water District 6 Extension 1 will see their water rates increase by 5 percent over the existing rates at the beginning of the next billing cycle. [Read more…]
BALLSTON – The town board has begun to address a history of speeding and stop sign violations occurring all over Ballston at the July 9 town board meeting.
Some of the areas of concern are Middleline Road, Hop City Road, Goode Street, Lake Road and Outlet Road.
“All of these roads are an issue,” Supervisor Patti Southworth said.
BALLSTON — At their Tuesday, June 11 meeting the Ballston Town Board finally approved a long-awaited water district extension for water-starved Morningdale Court.
Tuesday marked the second public hearing on the extension, which will be extension #24 in an already crowded and complicated water district.
The new extension will include all properties in Morningdale Court, all properties on the west side of Eastline Road from the Chapel Hill subdivision to Round Lake Road, and all properties on Round Lake Road at the intersection of Eastline Road. [Read more…]
As the Town of Ballston inches forward in its water district consolidation, several new housing developments are seeking new extensions to the districts, further complicating an already confusing system.
Water District 2 is the main district in the Town of Ballston. Numbers 3 and 4 are in the Village of Ballston Spa and Numbers 5 and 6 are in Glenville. The first extension was Number 7.
Since that first extension, 14 more extensions have been created. Recently, Timber Creek, a housing development starting Phase II of construction in Ballston Lake, has actually applied for an extension to an extension, which would create Extension Number 22.
Recently Morningdale Court in Ballston Lake also applied for an extension. According to Supervisor Patti Southworth, they want to move forward with that extension now that the Timber Creek extension has been applied for.
Southworth said $664 will have to be used to update a previous study done by CT Male. “We have to have an up-to-date description in order to form another district,” she said. “Ironically, the extension will be formed even as we move forward with the consolidation.”
At the March 26 Ballston Town Board meeting, residents on Lake Road added their request for a new water district. That district would be between East Line and Lake Road.
“They are looking for us to bring them water,” Southworth said.
Additionally, a resident on East Line Road is seeking emergency access to town water until the new water district can be formed.
Further complicating matters is the fact different districts are charged different rates based on the number of feet of piping used.
Southworth said it is well past time to address all of the issues.
“We need water district consolidation now because more and more extensions are being added and it is harder and harder to run the water district,” she said. “Consolidation will allow us to operate our water districts more efficiently and more equitable.”
Consolidation should have been done a long time ago, Southworth said. The previous board allowed new extensions to be rolled into the districts they went in to, she said. For example, when the Beacon Hill extension was granted, it was rolled into the Route 50 water district.
“Now we have a lot of little extensions that are not paying into the district,” Southworth said. “That is not an equitable situation. Some people are getting water that they are not paying the debt on, yet without that district they wouldn’t have water … We need to do consolidation but where the money is coming from, I’m not sure. We need to find the money from somewhere,”
The board had applied for a $15,000 Greenway Communities Grant from the state to fund a study by town engineers CT Male on water district consolidation, but the grant was turned down.
According to board member Bill Goslin, Greenway indicated the type of grant the town applied for was not appropriate for that type of study. He said they were referred to another agency, but the deadline for submission is in June. “We felt the timing wasn’t right,” he said.
Goslin said the town will have to fund the study out of existing water fund reserves. According to the councilman, CT Male has agreed the study will not exceed $10,000.
Recently, Ballston Water Superintendent Joe Whalen said extensions are both good and bad.
“More extensions mean more users, more customers and more revenue from those customers,” Whalen said. “But certain extensions are profiting from other extensions and not paying their fair share. If the water district was consolidated, it would mean that they would have to start paying their fair share.”
Whalen explained the unfair distribution of costs is most evident in capital improvement projects, such as the recent painting of the water tower and the construction of the new pump station. But he was quick to point out the extension the work was performed in is charged properly when repairs or maintenance are performed.
Whalen is still amazed by how quickly the extensions have grown, he said.
“This is my 11th year as water superintendent,” he said. “When I first started, there were approximately 1,100 to 1,200 customers. Now there are 2,060 customers. That is 100 percent growth. These extensions mean more operation and maintenance and trying to stay within the budget.”
The one thing everyone seems to agree on is the need for consolidation. It seems to be the only answer, especially when it comes to being equitable and fair to the taxpayers.
“There are a number of issues and a lot of them have to do with administration,” Goslin said. “Maintaining 15 different water districts is difficult to maintain from an accounting and water department perspective. If there was a major break or major issue in one of these districts, the people in that district would be responsible. Consolidation spreads cost over all the water districts. Everyone will pay for issues and make it more equitable.”
The board voted for consolidation at the meeting. Goslin said the next step will be to perform the study, and then post the results of study and propose to the public what should be done. At some point the town will hold a public hearing on the proposed consolidation, Goslin said, but he was not sure when that would be.
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