Residents in Schuyler voice their opinions on forming a water district

The town of Schuyler held a public hearing to discuss the formation of a water district to receive water from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority.

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 11:11 PM

SCHUYLER, N.Y. - The town of Schuyler held a public hearing to discuss the formation of a water district to receive water from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority.

The town would be receiving water through a transmission line that will run through Schuyler, the town and village of Frankfort, Ilion, and the town and village of Herkimer.

Property owners that would be apart of the Schuyler water district have different opinions.

"I think it's a great opportunity for quality water," Victor Costanza, Schuyler resident said.

"In my case, I don't think I need water so I'm opposed to it," Scander Astafan, Schuyler resident said.

The town supervisor says a benefit of having access to this transmission line would be quality drinking water for approximately 450 residents.

"Many people don’t have good quality water or they have wells that are running low in the summer or have to buy a lot of salt or bottled water," Anthony Lucenti, Schuyler Town Supervisor said.

Some say they have good water in their wells and they don't want the extra expense.

"I've lived in Schuyler for 32 years, I've always consumed water from my well and I test my water every year," Astafan said. "It tastes great."

The proposed water district was established after the town sent out a survey last year. Property owners in the proposed district will have a chance to vote on whether or not to create this water district. If it passes, even the people who didn't want the water will still have to pay.

"If you're in the water district, you will pay the debt service, there will be a yearly payment," Lucenti said. "You'll have to pay to retire the bond whether you hook up or not."

Right now the cost is over $600 per year. Lucenti says the town is working to conduct an income survey and the Herkimer IDA has put in for another grant to try and knock down that price.

"What they showed us tonight was worst case scenario, once it's voted on there's opportunity for grant money,"

If property owners vote down the water district, the transmission line with start at Windfall Road in Schuyler and run through Route 5 to the other communities. Lucenti says there will be fire hydrants added on Route 5 connecting to the transmission line for fire safety, but there won't be any distribution lines.

"It's a great opportunity for the town, its probably a once in a lifetime situation," Costanza said. "We would never have this situation but Ilion is in need of the water, the water is coming right through our town and there are a lot of great benefits."

The next step is for the town to hold another public hearing because they are adding three more parcels of land to the proposed water district. That public hearing will be March 11. After the public hearing, property owners will get a chance to vote.

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