Press-Republican

Environment

September 13, 2013

Town of Essex gains $3.1 million for water project

Lake Champlain town included in funding allocation

ESSEX — The water project slated for the Town of Essex won a $1.14 million grant.

Word came Thursday that the State Environmental Facilities Corp. also allocated a $2.01 million interest-free loan toward the work, which is still in design.

The money will establish a new and safe drinking water source for Essex residents and update failing water lines.

DOH ENFORCEMENT

In June, the Essex Town Council approved a resolution to move the water project forward.

The town is under Department of Health enforcement action because the current water supply is directly influenced by surface water and is not filtered, according to Town Council meeting minutes.

Essex Town Council members hired engineers at AES Northeast, based in Plattsburgh, “to develop a map, plan and report for the proposed improvements that incorporated the development of a new groundwater supply for the Essex water system.”

Initial engineering reports recommended two new wells and fire-flow improvements to waterlines on Main Street, Beggs Point Road and School Street in Essex.

The filtration plant on Beggs Point Road will be taken down once the new wells are in and working.

NO ADVERSE IMPACT

The proposed improvement plan earned a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The Town Council determined “that an environmental impact statement will not be prepared and that any adverse impacts associated with the project, including noise of construction equipment, dust from disturbed soils (and) minor traffic disruptions, are temporary impacts only for the duration of the construction period (and) will not result in any long-term, adverse impacts to the environment.”

NEGOTIATING SITE

Essex Town Supervisor Sharon Boisen said she is thrilled to receive the funding, describing the project as “very important.”

“The town was issued a tribunal order by the Department of Health in late 2010 and has been working diligently on a remedy,” she said in an email to the Press-Republican, noting assistance from Jim Dougan, AES Northeast and the Essex County Planning Office.

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