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Town of Schuyler establishes new water district

The Schulyer Town Board voted to create a new water district which will bring water from Hinckley reservoir to homes on Graham, Brown and Newport roads and Sky View Lane.

Posted: Oct 14, 2020 11:01 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2020 11:09 PM

SCHUYLER, N.Y. - The Schulyer Town Board voted to create a new water West Schuyler water district which will bring water from Hinckley Reservoir to homes on Graham, Brown and Newport roads and Sky View Lane.

The town has been awarded a $2.28 million state grant and a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to help with the cost of the $4.1 million project.

The annual cost for debt service for each home would be $581, even if they choose not to connect to the new line. The estimated annual cost for a family of four, including both debt service and water usage, would be $986.

Property owners who attended the public hearing on Wednesday night say they have mixed feelings.

Water quality and quantity are concerns for some residents in the district, as well as dry wells and smelly water.

"We've been very excited about the possibility of this water project," Kirsten Miklethun, a property owner in the water district said. "We’ve had wells dry up, we buy bottled water to drink, we feed our pets bottled water because the quality from our wells is not good.”

Another concern according to some residents, and the town supervisor is chemicals in the water.

"We did do a lot of water testing in the area and we found that out of 25 tests we did, 23 came back bad for quality of water." Anthony Lucenti, Schuyler Town Supervisor said. "Some of the wells had methane, some had coliform and some had E.coli in them."

Lucenti says the water line would also help with water pressure.

"It's going to provide better pressure for the current system up at the top of the hill that is suffering from negative pressure," Lucenti said. "The overall project will serve 136 people and it will also help the town of Deerfield, who we boarder, who is going to benefit through additional pressure to help with their fire protection."

Other residents say they don't have any issues with their at all.

"As was expressed by a number of town residents, we don't have problems with water, and I am sympathetic to people who have problems with their water," David Pasick, a property owner in the water district said. "In general we've had good luck I would say."

Residents that are against the project, as well as those for it, say a big issue is the way the district was formed.

The board passed the formation of the district as a permissive referendum, meaning the residents don't get to vote.

According to the project attorney, if 10% of property owners in the district put together and sign a petition within 30 days of the information being made public, using proper verbiage and meeting all of the qualifications, then a special election could be held for property owners to vote on the water district.

This water line is not related to the regional water transmission line in East Schuyler and Herkimer County. West Schuyler would not be served by that water line.

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