DANNEMORA — After expanding the proposed water district in the Town of Dannemora hamlet of Ledgers Corners, residents still need funding before safe drinking water returns to their homes.
In response to many years of chloride contamination, the state proposed a district for 18 properties whose wells tested positive for the substance, which made the water undrinkable and corroded pipes and appliances.
New York is willing to fund creation of the district with $2.6 million.
The community, however, decided to expand the water district, which would connect to the system that serves Clinton Correctional Facility.
“We established the boundaries with extensions,” Town Supervisor-elect Bill Chase told the Press-Republican. “It would be the town’s responsibility for the funding.”
Those properties also suffer from contamination, he said, and that is the reason for the expansion.
Those other households, said Jeff King, also have high chloride levels, but not 250 mg per liter or higher, the amount needed to qualify for state assistance.
“... but they can’t drink their water,” he said.
The home where he and Cheryle Saltmarsh live has extremely high sodium and chloride levels in its water; it falls within the area that will be served by a public water system paid for by the state.
The town estimates the cost of extended boundaries to be $700,000.
“The state of New York is more concerned for the people who are actually contaminated,” Chase said.
“They don’t want to provide funding for a possibility of contamination.”
A water district needs to be formed in order to receive funding or grants, and the town is waiting on a map and report from the state to establish the district.
Attendees at a recent meeting wondered how much each household will have to pay out-of-pocket and are hoping to gain more information before a decision is reached.
“It’s not a problem they created,” Chase said. “They shouldn’t have to incur any costs.”
The state isn’t supplying the town the necessary information needed to apply for funding for the expansion, Saltmarsh said.
“Right now, we’re trying to move forward ... but (the state) is holding us up.”
“It seems like we’re going in circles,” Chase said.