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Water agreement aims to make economic development flow

By JOLEEN FERRIS

The Mohawk Valley Water Authority and New York State Canal Corporation have ended a costly, eight-year legal battle centered around the amount of water the authority can draw, daily, from Hinckley Reservoir.

Currently, the authority draws roughly 20 million gallons a day for its 130,000 users. The new agreement allows the authority to draw up to 48.5 million gallons per day; more than enough to accommodate the 21 million gallons a chip fab plant would need.

"One thing we know that would not happen without this settlement is any kind of economic development. And everybody knows we have a premier site that's world renowned that's being marketed for semiconductor industry use and without this agreement, that would not have been possible at all," says MVWA Executive Director Patrick Becher.

Becher says that the agreement opens the door for all kinds of development, from titans of industry to families who simply want to enjoy modern conveniences.

"So now, as I say, our future's been preserved. We are open for business here in the Mohawk Valley and we can now put out the welcome mat for large, industrial users, and at the same time help other towns nearby that might need assistance with getting people on wells connected to a public system."

Becher says the agreement could also help hold water rates steady, since the authority will no longer have to budget for costly legal battles.

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