Petersburgh Board Reviews Water Project
By Alex Brooks
The Petersburgh Town Board held a special workshop meeting to review plans for renovation and repairs of Petersburgh Water District facilities. The plans and the accompanying engineering report written by Tom Suozzo of Cedarwood Engineering will be submitted for a State grant the Town hopes to get to fund the project. If Petersburgh’s application is successful, this program will provide 60% of the funding for the project as an outright grant, and 40% of the project funding as a loan at 3% interest over 30 years. The deadline for applications for the next round of funding under this project has not been announced yet, but an announcement is expected soon.
Petersburgh Supervisor Alan Webster said the report and the plan for renovations is getting near a final version, but as the Town went through the items in the work plan and the cost estimates associated with them, there were a number of questions that no one in the room could answer, so the plans are still being developed and not really firm yet. In fact, some of the plans will only become clear as the work progresses, since one of the projects is to try and improve Well #6 so that it can serve as a reliable backup well for the Water District’s main well, the old workhorse Well #2. If Well #6 cannot be improved enough to make it a reliable backup well, the plan is to drill a new well in the same spot where Well #5 and Well #6 are now. There are a number of unknowns involved here, which could raise or lower the cost.
The major items included in the project include the work on the wells described above, a new control system for the wells and the tank, expansion of the pump house building, replacement of a number of fire hydrants, cleaning and repairs to the water tank, two pressure reduction valves in new pits, new water meters for all homes on the system, and a number of PFOA-related projects that will be paid by Taconic. The latest cost estimates for the project show work items totaling just under $1 million, with contingency, engineering, and construction oversight adding about another 25%, for a total project cost estimated at $1.25 million.
The latest estimate of new debt that the project will bring to the Water District is $215,000, which if financed over 30 years at 3% interest, would bring an additional $10,000 per year of debt service cost to the District. The Water District currently pays about $6,000 annually on its existing debt, which will be paid off in about six years or so. However, these figures are still very much subject to change based on a number of different factors, and the cost of the project to Water District ratepayers has not been reliably determined yet.