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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 7, 2010

More houses on the horizon

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — Upscale residential development could take root in the now rural landscape off of New Scotland South Road if water comes to the area.

Bruce Boswell has proposed a 15-house subdivision, called “Creekside,” on a roughly 30-acre piece of land off of Miller Road.

“It’s all geared on the fact of getting this [and] getting the water,” said Dominick Arico, an engineer for Boswell Engineering, referring to issues with the subpar Miller Road and negotiations with the town of Bethlehem to make water available.

Since New Scotland has no municipal water system, residents in some areas are able to buy water from the neighboring town of Bethlehem, which has a reservoir located in New Scotland.  When out-of-town developers made a controversial proposal two years ago to build a Target at the intersection of routes 85 and 85A, near the border of Bethlehem, then supervisor Jack Cunningham suggested that his town wouldn’t supply further water to New Scotland until it had sorted out its plans for its commercial zone.

“We are always open to talk to New Scotland about anything that might be mutually beneficial,” Bethlehem’s current supervisor, Sam Messina, said this week.  He stressed that he is always willing to talk and added, “I consider that previous decision was the right decision at the time.”

A meeting on Sept. 21 at New Scotland Town Hall dealt largely with the feasibility of tapping into New Scotland’s Heldervale water district, which is supplied by Bethlehem water, to get water to the Miller Road area, according to some in attendance.  New Scotland Supervisor Thomas Dolin, councilmen Daniel Mackay and Douglas LaGrange, the developer, planning board chairman Charles Voss, and building inspector Paul Cantlin met with several residents from the New Scotland South Road area.  Although a quorum of the town board was present, which means that the meeting should have been open to the public with a notice posted ahead of time, it was not publicized.  All three officials — Dolin, Mackay, and LaGrange — attributed the quorum to poor communication and said that it wasn’t intended to be an official meeting.

Several residents own large tracts of land in that area, some of whom have plans for development also.

“I am envisioning a bigger plan out there,” said Salvatore Fiato, who owns about 100 acres of land adjoining the proposed Creekside development.  “I’m waiting to see what happens to Boswell,” he said of his plans.

“I think that part of town over there has great potential for development,” planning board member Robert Stapf said at Tuesday’s meeting.

There are three other housing developments in various stages of the planning process a few miles away in the northeast part of town.

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