TICONDEROGA — New Ticonderoga Town Supervisor William Grinnell is already attacking problems with the town’s public water supply.
The town is under orders from the State Department of Health to either find a new public water source — with a commercial well strongly suggested — or upgrade its two filtration plants on Gooseneck Pond and Lake George.
“We’re working on it,” Grinnell told the Press-Republican. “There’s a meeting with the engineers coming up.”
Grinnell, who took office Jan. 1 for his first term as town supervisor, said he thinks the town should reconsider whether a well is the way to go.
“I plan on revisiting the well situation. I will meet with the town board and find a good way forward for the town.”
The Department of Health says the surface-water sources the town uses are not meeting current standards.
“We have water issues that need to be resolved,” Grinnell said. “I’m not 100 percent convinced we need to change water sources or find a third source.”
The estimated cost for the well project is $14 million, which also includes improvements to Gooseneck and Lake George water plants to keep them operational.
Engineers said the cost to bring just the plants up to standards without a well would be in excess of $30 million. It is more expensive because, for the plants to be the sole water source, more extensive work would need to be done on them.
Grinnell said there may be other avenues that would satisfy the Department of Health.
“They’re (engineers) ready to have a pre-construction meeting on the well. There will probably be some other meetings before that happens. There are choices we have to make.”
The town is also preparing to award the contract for the town water reservoir reconstruction in Chilson hamlet, something it would have to do even if it did drill a well, Grinnell said.
“We’ll push ahead with the new reservoir tank for Chilson. We have to do that no matter what else we do.”
In 2009, the State Department of Health ordered the town to replace or cover Gooseneck Reservoir, which was built in 1931.
THREAT OF FINES
During another inspection, the state also established that the Baldwin Road filtration plant that draws Lake George water was failing.
The state then mandated that a new groundwater source or mandatory upgrades be in place by 2016, or the town could face fines of up to $37,000 a day.
Officials are trying to secure grants to pay for some or all of the construction.
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