Saturday, January 28, 2006

Urban Sprawl: The bill becomes due! Now ... Who pays?

A few days ago the Observer-Dispatch treated us to the story of the Road to growth , which tantalized us with visions of new stores, homes and a business park. The prospects generated buzz and more buzz. I previously noted that this so-called "growth" is really "sprawl" because our region's population is not growing, and that it would ultimately result in increased costs.

Well ... It looks like the first bill for our "growth" just came due. State: Sewage overflow into Mohawk must stop. It seems that a "spate of recent development" (note the term "growth" isn't used) has overloaded the Sauquoit Creek sewer line to the point where raw sewage is spilling into the Mohawk River. The state wants it stopped. The study alone to solve the problem is estimated at $3-5 million. Supervisor Shannon does not see it as a Whitestown problem. Note that no comment apparently was sought from New Hartford's supervisor.

While some development in Whitestown has occurred and more is planned, everyone knows that most of the "spate of recent development" has actually occurred in the Town of New Hartford. New Hartford encouraged this "growth" to expand ITS tax base. Unless New Hartford now wants to share the benefits of its expanded tax base with the other communities comprising Greater Utica, it seems only fitting that New Hartford should bear the FULL COST of what it caused.

Hopefully the costs of the "growth" will not be "regionalized" without also regionalizing the benefits.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post - a good reminder of the hidden cost of "growth" and sprawl.

RomeHater said...

At least New Hartford pays taxes to the county. The Turning Stone has drained all the water from Verona and now want to buy it from Rome.

Strikeslip said...

If the casino wants to purchase water from Rome, that will be good for Rome if the deal is structured correctly. It is my understanding that Rome has more than enough raw water to sell, but the size of the treatment plant may be limiting. If the casino pays (1) the entire cost of bringing the pipes to itself, (2) pays an "entry fee" equivalent to what would be its pro rata share of the existing treatment plant, (3) pays for any need to expand the treatment plant that it would cause, (4) pays the additional cost needed to transport the water over a greater distance, and (5) pays the city of Rome a small profit to cover the risk Rome would be taking in serving more people, ROME COULD MAKE OUT QUITE WELL.

RomeHater said...

I can assure you from past experience that at least 4 of those things will not be done.

Roman Hokie said...

How about Rome, and the rest of Oneida County, just let the Casino fend for itself in retribution for the friendly neighbor policy they seem to have with Oneida and Madison county communitites?