May 1, 2014

Fort Covington gets water contract

FORT COVINGTON — Fort Covington officials were elated and thankful on Wednesday when their proposal was chosen to supply Salmon River Central School with water.

Upgrades and expansion of the town’s existing system will not only benefit the district and residents already using the water service but the town as a whole, they said.

“It will bring economic development and really increase the tax base here,” Town Supervisor Pat Manchester said following the 6-2 vote by the School Board.

Fort Covington’s plan was selected over a proposal submitted by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

The entities were vying for a 20-year contract to provide improved water to Salmon River School District, as its own water source tested below State Department of Health standards in January 2013.

Salmon River earmarked $2.4 million for the water project to go along with the $36.5 million capital-improvement project it is starting.


epresentatives from the Health Department, town and tribe, as well as the consultants hired by the school and Fort Covington, were on hand to answer any questions, and, before the vote, School Board members had a few to ask.

District Superintendent Jane Collins questioned the volume of the town’s fire-hydrant output.

The town’s consultant, John Carr, said the proposal covers drinking water, not hydrant pressure. But he believed the water pressure would be sufficient for hydrant needs at the school.

Collins then asked School Board member and veteran firefighter Matthew Mainville if he had any concerns about the hydrants. He said he did not.

Manchester assured the board a dry hydrant could be installed less than a mile from the school to add to the two existing hydrants available for the mutual-aid fire units to use.


Mainville said he wanted clarification on the tribe’s remedy for filtering out the cancer-causing PCBs present in the St. Lawrence River, which was to be used as a source of water in its proposal.

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