The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Editorial: Ballston Spa needs big role in Walmart review

Friday, June 13, 2014
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The village of Ballston Spa is more than "interested" in the proposal to build a new 137,000 square-foot, 24-hour Walmart just below the village line in the town of Ballston.

It has a real vested stake in how this project turns out, as it will significantly affect the village's residents, traffic and infrastructure.

Officially, the village can only sign on as an “interested agency” during the state environmental review for the project, since the project is being built outside the village's jurisdiction.

"Interested" status gives the village only as much clout as any ordinary citizen to comment on the project. That's not enough in this case.

Village roads, particularly Route 50, which is the village's main thoroughfare, will see more tractor-trailer traffic, as well as more traffic from customers and employees cutting through the village to get to the store. More vehicles — anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 per day (depending on whom you believe) —means more noise, more traffic tie-ups on side streets, and more physical stress on village roads.

So while the town Planning Board has legal authority over the project, we urge the board to give Ballston Spa village officials a significant advisory role in how this project turns out.

Town officials need to work in concert with the village to ensure that the project addresses the concerns of village residents and makes accommodations to the major impact the store will have just up the road.

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