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Baker, Geraghty spar over taxes, hydro plant, landfill hours

During a Meet the Candidates Night event Wednesday Oct. 30, Maynard Baker (right) offers a presentation on his candidacy for the Warrensburg Town Supervisor post while present town board members listen (from left): Councilman Bryan Rounds, Deputy Supervisor John Alexander, and present Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty. Topics discussed including the feasibility of a hydropower plant on the Schroon River, the cost of keeping the town landfill open seven days per week, and town expenditures.

During a Meet the Candidates Night event Wednesday Oct. 30, Maynard Baker (right) offers a presentation on his candidacy for the Warrensburg Town Supervisor post while present town board members listen (from left): Councilman Bryan Rounds, Deputy Supervisor John Alexander, and present Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty. Topics discussed including the feasibility of a hydropower plant on the Schroon River, the cost of keeping the town landfill open seven days per week, and town expenditures. Photo by Thom Randall.

— During a Meet the Candidates Night held Wednesday Oct. 30, two political foes squared off in a debate in Warrensburg, answering questions about local taxes, municipal expenditures and the concept of establishing a second hydropower plant in Warrensburg.

Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, seeking a third four-year term, is challenged in the November general election by former town Supervisor Maynard Baker, who served in the office for 10 years until well over a decade ago. The debate, conducted by the League of Women Voters, was held at Warrensburg High School, and about 35 people attended — a figure that the candidates said was disappointing.

Local hydropower plant feasibility challenged

Baker said he would be seeking to establish, if elected, a new hydropower plant on the Schroon River.

“I am asking for voter support to harness the Schroon River for much-needed electric power,” he said. “This would bring in a significant amount of revenue for the town.”

Geraghty responded that such a project would take a decade or more of environmental review, and if approved or not, would be a heavy financial burden on taxpayers.

When asked about specifically where a new power plant could be developed on the river and how it would be financed, Baker responded that he couldn’t say.

“I don’t know where a dam could be built, but it wouldn’t necessarily have to be a dam, it could be a tube,” he said. “I have no idea, I’ve first got to get elected, then I’ll get a committee together.”

Geraghty responded that four years ago, he and the town board had commissioned a consulting engineer look into the concept, and there was no grant funding available to develop a new hydropower plant.

“I don’t believe it’s a feasible project,” he said, citing that he and the board were already involved in a project of installing solar power panels at municipal facilities throughout Warrensburg — to cut utility costs for the long-term, without spending taxpayer money to do so.

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