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Watkins water system will cost $1.4M

WATKINS GLEN—The village of Watkins Glen has started to spend the money necessary to relocate the raw water intake plant and make improvements to the water system.
Mayor Judith Phillips explained the intake is currently located at the former municipal building on Salt Point Road. However, the property was sold and is in the works to become commercial and residential property. Phillips said the raw water intake will be moved deeper into the lake and farther down. She said the plans have it around 90 feet out into the water. Phillips explained this will help improve security, and water quality. She said replacing the water intake will involve moving the water system from the Municipal Building and onto an adjacent property the village owns. The plans also include the instillation of a new pump station.
She said the project is needed because the water system is almost 100 years old in some parts, a problem similar to what the village of Montour Falls is currently facing.
Phillips said the project is estimated to cost $1,145,000, and that is the most the village is willing to spend. She explained the project was approved by the village board May 18, even though there were insufficient funds at the time. The village then applied for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds, and got a $300,000 grant. Phillips said to offset the rest of the cost, the village would have to look at raising water fees.
“There’s no sense borrowing money until you need it,” said Phillips.
The next step in the project will be to hire engineers to create the detailed specs for the project. Phillips said the design phase has already been completed. She explained in order to move the project along, a detailed design was needed so the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, and Army Corps of Engineers can approve, or deny, the plans. She explained the project had gone as far as it could with the village not spending a lot of money.
“We want to go to bid in January, February,” said Phillips. She said she would also like the actual work to be started in the late summer, though admitted that was her being optimistic.

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