Volney board hears update on water districts

By Scott Allardice

The Volney town board Nov. 13 heard an update on the progress of several water districts in the town.

Bob Guminiak, an engineer with the firm C2AE, reported the MacDougall 6/45 water district work is nearly done.

“By the 1st of December everything should be done,” Guminiak said. The contractor has installed all the pipe, fire hydrants, made all the connections to existing water mains and completed work on virtually all the water service lines for customers.

Restoration of the ground in the project area will probably have to wait until spring, but before winter “all disturbed areas will be mulched with hay,” he said.

The new water mains are being pressure tested and chlorinated, in preparation for seeking health department approval for the system.

Once the system is approved, customers can begin hooking up to the water system. While homeowners are responsible for the costs of their hookup to the system, “The homeowners don’t have to buy the meters, the project is paying for them,” Guiminiak said.

Guminiak also reported on the progress of the proposed Airport Water District Extension #2. The project recently received approval from the state comptroller, but suffered a setback when the project’s projected interest rate jumped from 2.75 percent to 3.75 percent.

“That was unusual,” Guminiak said. He said the higher interest rate raises the project’s proposed costs for customers above earlier estimates. The funding proposal has been adjusted, with the federal government pledging more grant money.

“They’re anticipating it (the interest rate) will go down in January,” Guminiak said. “If it drops a quarter of a point we’re good.” If the rate fails to drop or goes up, the project may have to go back to the public for approval.

Another proposed water project, the Sherman Road – County Route 57 South Water District Extension #1, was also discussed.

The project would serve eight parcels that were left out an earlier water district because the homeowners at the time were opposed to the project.

Now the current homeowners are anxious to join the existing 70 users in the water district. “They call all the time,” Supervisor Dennis Lockwood said.

Guminiak worked a plan to add the new users into the exiting district at a cost of $478 annually for five years. After the five years, the new users would pay “the exact same rates as the people in the existing district,” Guminiak said.

The additional customers in the district could actually help reduce the $374 annual cost during the last 33 years of the project’s loan repayment.

In other business:

1) The board discussed whether the town should continue selling licenses for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Hunting, fishing and trapping license sales are sold by the town using a computer supplied by the DEC. After Dec. 1, the DEC will reclaim its computer and town clerk Barbara Mac Ewen was unsure if the sales could continue using her computer or if the town would have to purchase additional equipment.

“Do I really want to keep selling licenses for a 3 percent return,” Mac Ewen said, citing the town’s share of the license revenue. “But we need to keep doing it for the convenience of the people,” she added.

Councilor Kevin Kio asked about the town’s revenues and “if it’s cost effective” for the town to continue to provide the service. “We’ll have to look at it,’ he said.

Since the exact revenues, costs and costs to continue service were unknown during the meeting, Lockwood said, “It’s an issue we’ve got to look into.”

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