HERKIMER, N.Y. - Several stage agencies attended a meeting in Herkimer Thursday to discuss the next steps for finding a solution to Ilion's water issue.
The state Department of Health, the DEC, and representatives from the governor's office were all at the meeting, along with other state agencies to show they are are committed to helping the village fix their water problems.
Problems with water quality have been a major issue for the Village of Ilion for some time now. From discolored water, to lead problems, and several water main breaks, they've seen just about everything, and Mayor Brian Lamica is determined to make sure no more problems occur for village residents.
The purpose of the meeting was for Ilion's mayor and other officials from surrounding municipalities to gain knowledge about what roll each state agency will play in this potential water project and for the state agencies to find out who is interested in moving forward with the project.
Representatives from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority attended the meeting and they believe this project is possible and creating a Eastern Water district to receive water and services from MVWA will help with not only Ilion's water issues, but the other surrounding municipalities as well.
The biggest obstacle now is funding. So far Ilion received a $250,000 grant last week from the Department of Health but there is still a lot more funding needed for this project.
“One of the things I’m trying to tell everybody and get out there to our village residents is the fact that the more funding that we get, the more grants we get and low interest loans that we get, the less that has to come out of our rate payers pockets and that’s, you know, the clean and adequate drinking water is the primary concern but at a cost we can afford as well," Mayor Lamica said.
No decision was made at the meeting, but everyone in attendance seemed positive about moving forward with this potential water project.
The village of Frankfort as well as the towns of Herkimer and Schuyler have expressed an interest in this project. Mayor Lamica says he hopes that with more people involved, the faster this project can happen so village residents don't have to experience any more water issues.
"That’s the biggest thing, we need to move forward, the more people that come on board, the greater its going to be for everybody, however in the mean time we need to move forward in Ilion, the people in the village, what they went through last summer I don’t want them going through again this year," Mayor Lamica said. "We all water issues and infrastructure issues in the area, and as I let them know today, I'm worried about my neighbors but I’m worried about home first."
More meetings about this project will be in the near future.