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Ex-Saratoga Springs DPW chief criticizes sale of water to Wilton

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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— A former city official is criticizing Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco for selling city water to be used by a new residential development in Wilton.

William McTygue, who was the city public works administrator before retiring two years ago, said contracts between the city and the Wilton Water and Sewer Authority say the city can sell water for use only in the Northway Exit 15 commercial zones of nearby Wilton.

“The contract is very specific,” he said Tuesday.

City water can be sold to Wilton only for use in the C-1 and C-3 commercial zones, he said. The contract wording even includes tax map parcels where the city can provide water, McTygue said.

“It was never the city’s intention to provide water to residential areas of Wilton,” he added.

McTygue also said the City Council should have voted on the water sale, which he said did not occur.

Scirocco has defended selling water to the Wilton Water and Sewer Authority for use in Floral Estates, Phase 5, on Ingersoll Road, saying there is wording in the city’s 1998 contract with the town to sell the town water authority up to 250,000 gallons of water per day. He said the city sells “nowhere near” this amount of water to Wilton, which is now served by the Saratoga County Water Authority and has expanded its own well fields in the Jones Road area.

“There has been no secret deal done,” Scirocco said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

He said Joseph Scala, the city attorney, is developing a set of documents and he and Scala will make a public presentation at a future City Council meeting.

“The city attorney will address all the issues,” Scirocco said.

McTygue said the 1998 contract was amended in 2001 but still allows the city to sell water only for use in Wilton’s commercial zones.

Scirocco said city lawyers approved the water sale according to terms of the current water contract between the city and Wilton Water and Sewer Authority.

Scirocco said the city is providing water only to an 18-lot section of this much larger housing subdivision on Ingersoll Road.

McTygue said the city DPW instituted voluntary odd and even lawn-watering restrictions earlier this summer during a dry period, fearing the city was getting short of water.

He also noted that the state has warned the city in the past it must look for new sources of water because its water resources are limited, including Loughberry Lake, the city’s main water source.

Scirocco said the city has established test wells in the Bog Meadow area in seeking new water sources for the city and improved the Geyser Crest well system in recent years.

McTygue said the city in the past has agreed that it did not want to “subsidize” residential growth on the fringes of the city “at the expense of city taxpayers.”

Scirocco said he feels the charges being made may be political. Scirocco beat Tom McTygue, William’s brother, in the last election to become city public works commissioner.

 
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