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Voting on sewer

Janet Ladd was the first voter of the day on Aug. 27 in Moreau, filing her vote just three minutes after polls opened on the question of building sewer along Route 9. Sixty-one of the 79 eligible voters went to the polls, and the referendum passed by 3 votes.

MOREAU — So far, the Comptroller’s Office has had no problems with the proposed Route 9 sewer district.

The district application has sailed through almost all of the Comptroller Office’s divisions, Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said.

“It’s cleared all the lower hurdles and it’s sitting on legal’s desk,” he said.

If it’s approved there, he expects the office to issue an approval to the town.

It could be any day, he said.

He has not yet heard any news from the Environmental Facilities Corp., which must also approve the district. He asked State Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, to write letters to the EFC in support of the project. Marchione has already promised a letter, Kusnierz said.

He doesn’t expect to hear from the EFC for months, perhaps not until December. But he’s not complaining.

“After all the blood, sweat and tears on the sewer district, I don’t mind a wait before I get back into the sewer grind,” he said.

South Glens Falls Mayor Harry Gutheil had hoped the Comptroller’s Office would consider the project too expensive.

Others, including former town Supervisor Preston Jenkins Jr., sent letters to the Comptroller’s Office and EFC, asking them to reject the project.

In the letters, property owners cited the high cost and the fact that three voters in last month’s referendum voted twice. The district passed by just three votes.

They said the Comptroller’s Office should issue an opinion, clarifying whether corporations and other entities, which must name someone to vote for them, can choose someone who is already eligible to vote on the issue. That leads to the person voting twice, which the letter-writers said should not be allowed.

Jenkins acknowledged, however, that changing that rule would not change the result of the referendum, because each corporation selected a representative who would vote the way the corporation wanted. If they had to choose someone else, they would simply direct that person to vote in the same way.

Jenkins said he is hoping the EFC or the Comptroller’s Office rejects the project on the basis of cost.

In the letter to the Comptroller’s Office, owners wrote that the district is “not serving the public interest and that the cost would create financial burden on the property owners.”

The letter also noted that the infrastructure would pass by, but not hook up, “two motels, three mobile home parks, three restaurants, several businesses, a public school and hundreds of residences,” all of which could have reduced the per-user cost.

Kusnierz defended the Town Board decision not to include any residential property in the district, saying he was responsive to complaints raised by the public.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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