On October 14th there will be referendums in the Towns of Ballston and Clifton Park where residentswill determine the future of Ballston Lake. After several years of hard work by many people, the fate ofthis lake is in our hands. The accompanying article by Dave Pierce summarizes the scientific data accumulated over many years, making the case that phosphorus pollution is poisoning the lake. This was certified in 2012 when New York State ENCON declared Ballston Lake an “Impaired Lake” under the Federal Clean Water Act. The state will be required to do a study and develop a plan in conjunction with the Towns to reduce the incoming phosphorus load on the lake to a level that will correct the situation. We firmly believe that failing septic systems are the primary source the phosphorus problems, and that sewers are the only practical solution.
We also believe that it is in all of our best interests to take action now. This project is not inexpensive. However, we are in line for significantly reduced funding and interest rates are at an all-time low, with the Fed signaling that rates may increase soon. There will not be a better time to do this. If we wait until action is dictated, the costs will surely be higher. The problems that we see may be getting worse, but they are not new. Some folks remember the proposed sewer project being voted down years ago. If that project had been undertaken, the lake would be healthy and the debt would have been paid off by now. I’ve heard people declare “how foolish those residents were to turn the project down with all the funding it had”. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of thepast and have our children make that same statement about us! Native Americans were the first to wander the shores of this beautiful lake, as long as 2,000 years ago. The future of the lake now rests in our hands. As a Native American proverb states: “We don’t own this land. We just borrow it from our children”.
It is up to us. It is up to you. Please vote “yes”.
Drew Hamelink, Chairman Town of Ballston Sewer Committee