The Times
  • Newport moving forward with water project

  • Time is ticking to complete a roughly $2 million water project in the village by state-stipulated deadline of November.

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  • Time is ticking to complete a roughly $2 million water project in the village by state-stipulated deadline of November.
    The village is waiting to close on two property parcels in order to get construction under way on the $2.175 million installation of a filtration system and replacement of a chlorination system and water tank.
    Heidi Worden, who recently was elected to village trustee, said she has some concerns on whether the village will be able to complete the project in time.
    “I feel they delayed this project,” said Worden, who recently purchased property in the village. “It may come to the point where it’s going to cost the village money because of non-compliance.”
    One parcel is being purchased from Eric and Nanette Roesler, who is the village registrar. The other is being purchased from M.E.I.D. Construction LLC, of which Newport Town Supervisor Mike McEvoy is a member, village Attorney Aubrey Dunning said.
    She said she expects the sales to close within the next few weeks and added that other property owners were approached during the process.
    “We attempted to negotiate with other property owners, and the Roeslers were the most open to deal with,” she said.
    Dunning did not want to comment on the purchase prices for the parcels, and instructed GateHouse News Service to contact village Mayor Thomas Roberts, who did not return multiple calls.
    The state Department of Health’s Herkimer district office in February 2007 determined the water being supplied from Skunk Hill and Furman Springs — the sources of the village’s drinking water — did not meet current health standards because of the EPA’s Surface Water Treatment Rule to prevent waterborne diseases caused by legionella and giardia lamblia viruses.
    The rule requires that water systems filter and disinfect water from surface water sources to reduce the occurrence of unsafe levels of these microbes.
    The tank also needs to be replaced because it doesn’t meet the fire needs of the community, officials said.
    The cost of the project will be covered by an Environmental Facilities Corp. grant for $1.2 million as well as a $975,000 loan with 0-percent interest for 30 years, Roberts has said.
    During a recent public meeting, Worden was concerned with the time it’s taken to acquire the land and suggested taking it through eminent domain.
    But Dunning said “cost and time (with eminent domain) would’ve been prohibitive.”
    Engineer on the project Jack Dodson, principal of Schenectady-based Dodson & Associate, said the Environmental Facilities Corp. wouldn’t have paid for the purchased land if it was taken that way.
    This way he said, “One dime doesn’t come out of the village’s budget.”
    Officials also hope to replace piping along state Route 28, but the village board would have to vote to add that if enough money is available.

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