Montgomery County fish farm developer sued over well-drilling bill

Saturday, January 18, 2014
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— A developer proposing a $68 million fish farm is accused of ignoring an $85,000 bill for bringing water to Montgomery County’s Glen Canal View Business Park.

Hanson Well Drilling & Pump Co. of Nassau, Rensselaer County, demands $104,929.93 plus interest from TecMar LLC and principal Peter M. Vitale in a complaint filed Jan. 6 in state Supreme Court in Fonda.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency is also named in the filing. The IDA owns the property where TecMar is proposing to build an 840,000-square-foot plant capable of producing 17 million pounds of fish per year.

Ken Rose, CEO of the county agency, declined Friday to comment on the case, which is being reviewed by the agency’s attorneys.

The company was searching for project investors in the fall, and there’s been no further steps in the process since then.

The fish farm project, pitched with the promise of 175 new jobs, drew the attention of state economic developers and was promised low-cost electricity through the state’s ReCharge NY program. The state in 2012 also put the project in line for a $1.4 million grant in response to a request from the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council.

Hanson Well Drilling contends TechMar entered into an agreement to drill wells for fresh groundwater, and the company spent $85,559.93 in labor and materials, according to the complaint filed by Kinderhook attorney William J. Better.

The driller filed a mechanic’s lien on the property in January 2012, which the suit contends was also ignored.

Added to the request is payment of a $10,000 promissory note TecMar principal Vitale provided to the drilling company, according to the complaint.

Better said Friday he has not heard a response from TecMar to the mechanic’s lien or the lawsuit. Better said his client did a “great deal of work” and hasn’t been paid anything.

He declined further comment.

Vitale, who lives in New York City, did not immediately respond to an email sent Friday to an address listed for him in court papers.

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