$220,000 state grant for Hoosick Falls water costs
$220,000 state grant for Hoosick Falls water costs.
The grant was ushered through the public authority recently with support from Gov.
Andrew Cuomo’s office that said the money would need to be repaid only if the two companies blamed for the pollution reimburse the village for those costs.
The windfall for the village comes after the state Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously on a bill that would allow the village to issue bonds to help cover additional costs associated with the pollution.
A similar bill is pending in the Assembly.
The government assistance comes after the village Board of Trustees voted last month to fire the Glens Falls law firm that has billed Hoosick Falls more than $450,000 for its work on the water-contamination issues, including tens of thousands of dollars for public relations advice and processing Freedom of Information Law requests filed by news organizations.
The work included writing speeches for former Mayor David Borge and vetting his public testimony and "talking points" to reporters and at public hearings.
Saint-Gobain owns a manufacturing plant on McCaffrey Street that is a focus of the contamination.
The negotiations fell apart two months ago when the Village Board, facing intense public criticism, voted to indefinitely table the draft settlement agreement with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell.
The agreement was made public in December and touted by Borge and other village leaders as a way for the small community to recoup its out-of-pocket expenses The initial $850,000 settlement proposal brought public criticism, and the companies and village responded with a retooled deal in January that increased the one-time payment to $1.04 million.