To the Editor:
My family and I reside in the town of Guilderland in the Dunnsville Road area. My wife’s family has owned property here for generations; my wife and I have lived in the area our entire lives and chose to raise our children here.
Prior to moving to our current residence, we resided on Whipple Way for approximately three years with our backyard abutting Bozenkill Road.
Our current residence is within walking distance to the proposed project on Bozenkill Road. Therefore, I feel as though I have standing relative to this issue of development.
Our current residence is serviced with municipal water via the village of Altamont. Twice yearly, I happily pay the $234 bill, double the village rate, which includes a $25 fee for debt service (I assume in part for the Brandle Road wells).
If my family had chosen to stay on Whipple Way, I can honestly say I would be supportive of the Mr. [Troy] Miller’s proposal. For those opposed to the property’s development, did you give thought to purchasing the parcel when it went up for sale?
Additionally, what about the rights of the landowner who sold the property? Is the landowner expected to pay taxes on his property so you can have your green space? Frankly, I find the position of those opposed to this project selfish and shortsighted.
In a letter to the editor last week, Michael and Meg Seinberg describe problems with “giving away/selling water…” As I see it, the village is not “giving away” water; giving away infers there will be no cost, which is not true. The authors then state the residents of the proposed development will not pay village taxes; agreed, they will not pay village taxes but will pay Guilderland town taxes as well as paying the out-of-district rate for water and sewer.
The authors go on to state the “small annual fees will not contribute enough towards the upgrades for our old and overstressed water and sewer systems, and will barely cover the cost of connecting these new homes to our system.” This statement is in no way backed with any fact and is irresponsible.
First, my belief is the developer will bear the cost of connecting the proposed dwellings to the village water system with this cost passed on to the home buyer as part of the sale price.
Secondly, by responsibly adding more users to the water system, the cost of system upgrades can be spread to more users thus lowering the cost to each resident.
It is my understanding it is not the water system that is “overstressed” but, rather, the sewer system. My understanding is homes located in the older parts of the village remove storm water from sump-pump basins through the sewer system which, during heavy periods of precipitation, taxes the system beyond its engineered design.
So, again, by adding more users to the sewer system, the cost of upgrades can be spread to more residents. Will these new homes add to the use of the sewer system? Most certainly, but with required low-flow toilets and faucets along with properly plumbed sump pumps, the impact will be relatively low.
If there becomes a need to finance upgrades to the village sewer system, I’d suggest taking a look at the cost of Altamont Police Department and make a decision as to which one is a true budgetary priority. This is not meant as a critical statement against the Altamont P.D. but a statement about public budgeting and where priorities lie. After all, a budget is, in part, a statement of priorities.
I thank the four village board members who took a responsible approach to development.