By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE – The city water department will be awarded millions of dollars from the state to cover 60 percent of their $5 million project in 2017, that would replace an aging water tank on Eagle Street.
Water Superintendent Chris Satterlee said the department recently received notice that it will be granted $3 million from the state Environmental Facilities Corp. after an application was submitted earlier this year.
“It’s great news,” he said. “This is going to cover 60 percent of the project and allow the city to comply with the state requirements.”
He said the replacement was needed because the state Department of Health previously imposed new regulations that will require the city to have one day worth of backup water on hand incase an emergency situation ever occurs by 2017.
He also said the health department is requiring municipalities to no longer use open-air storage devices, meaning it will have to replace the tank currently located on Eagle Street to meet the new requirements.
He said the board was initially going to be seeking two grants this year, including one for $750,000 from NYS Housing and Urban Development that would have been used to cover some of the remaining the expense.
However, he said after several months of planning the council decided to seek the same grant to repair several catch basins and manholes around the city that require extensive repairs. Each municipality can only submit one application for the block grant program which meant the city water department would need to find an alternative option to cover the remaining $2 million.
He said the board is exploring their options to cover the difference, which could include revenue from timber sales, but it may need to seek bonds or zero-interest loans to cover the remaining expenses. Any potential bond would need to be sought through the Common Council since the board itself doesn’t have any bonding authority.
“We have to make up that $750,000,” Satterlee said. “Our last resort is raising the rates and we’ve covered our last couple projects with timber sales but the board is looking at a few things to cover the remaining expense.”
He said the city currently uses about 2 million gallons of water each day and the department is planning to build a new tank that holds about 2.5 million gallons to accommodate any future development projects that may occur.
He also said the project would include improving the existing infrastructure located in the areas around the new water tank. He said some of that area has older lines that aren’t adequate to meet the needs of the new storage device.
Satterlee said the project would connect two lines currently being used on Eagle Street and Wells Street. He said these improvements would help improve the water pressure in that part of the city.
The project would also include similar improvements in the area of South Kingsboro Avenue to complete some of the improvements already made when Walmart moved into that section of the city.
Satterlee said the work isn’t scheduled to begin until next year and he anticipates it would take about five months to complete.