Flood control a state concern

At long last, it appears the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District’s money woes will come to an end.

However, all of those involved should push state and federal officials to help create a more equitable plan for the Capital Region regarding flood control.

The district has been seeking payment from five counties after a 2008 court order said the district could no longer charge downstream hydropower companies for its flood-control services. The district has been starved for revenue since then.

The district – which owes millions in back taxes – recently reached agreements with four of the five downstream counties from which it is looking to collect money.

The district reached agreements with Albany, Rensselaer, Warren and Washington counties for a total of $3.5 million for past dues. The settlement also includes annual fees.

Saratoga County will have its monthly meeting Tuesday and may decide wether to agree to the settlement.

We hope officials in that county will give their approval.

We supported the district’s plan before, and we still do, but we noted there’s an argument to be made the state should step in and take over funding the regulating district. Capital Region officials also can press their federal representatives to change the law so the downstream power companies could be charged again.

It would be nice to see officials from Fulton County and those from the regulating district reach out to the representatives in Warren, Washington, Albany, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, and work with them on getting a more equitable funding system in place.