Millions awarded for water upgrades in Lake Placid, Jay and Tupper Lake
Placid awarded $2.7M, Jay $1.9M, Tupper Lake $1.65M
As part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $30 million grants for water improvements in the North Country, the village of Lake Placid was awarded $2.7 million for its drinking water infrastructure, along with $1.9 million to the town of Jay to repair its drinking water infrastructure and $1.65 million to the village of Tupper Lake for sewer infrastructure upgrades.
The award for Lake Placid will foot more than half of the $4.5 million bill the village applied for to help its drinking water infrastructure, a critical penultimate step in its multi-year process to secure several grants to makeover its Main Street.
“This is a good day for Lake Placid,” said Mayor Craig Randall. “I’m feeling $2.7 million better.”
The governor also announced that Jay, a neighboring mountain town along the AuSable River that was ravaged by floods from Tropical Storm Irene — and, as a result, is under a consent order from the state Department of Health to repair its drinking water infrastructure — will receive 60 percent of the funding, $1.9 million, it applied for to pay for a $3.17 million project.
“This takes care of the hamlet of AuSable Forks, roughly 224 homes,” said Archie Depo, supervisor of the town.
Randall explained that these funds through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act will revamp three components of the village’s drinking water system.
First, it will improve the existing water filtration plant located next to the state boat launch site on Lake Placid lake.
The second component includes the construction of a new 1.5 million-gallon water storage tank next to the village’s existing tank.
The third component includes the replacement of approximately 4,000 feet of aged and undersized water main underneath Main Street, from the intersection of Saranac Avenue south to the North Elba Town Hall.
This component will also include the replacement of all service laterals and isolation valves.
The village awaits one last verdict on Green Initiative Grant Program monies to complete the Main Street project, which Randall says will include more green spaces and altered sidewalks, roadways and parking availability.
“But we are hopeful we will hear about that before the end of the year,” Randall said. “I am anticipating December.”
Lake Placid has been under a DOH consent order since 2004 to fix the sewer situation, one it awarded a $1.25 million bid for earlier this month with a planned start date of next spring. A previous $1.85 million from GIGP will help upgrade Main Street from the bottom of Saranac Avenue to the post office.
The mayor hopes the village board will put together a community group to draft a final streetscape plan for its future Main Street after that final verdict on GIGP funding is announced.
Jay’s award will help with a few of the 20 projects Depo said the town is tasked with remedying after Tropical Storm Irene damaged the infrastructure six years ago.
Jay’s AuSable Forks water district is under a 2012 consent order from DOH to put in new wells and a new water control building. One of the town’s wells washed in due to the flooding from the storm, which has left Jay at 50-percent capacity at three of its wells in the six years since, with only one well operating at 100 percent.
“We’ve been alright,” Depo said. “We haven’t run low or anything, but there is a possibility that we could, that the wells could get worse and dry up.”
The new infrastructure will be located at higher elevations with everything new above ground.
Depo added that Jay has also received grant money from the NY Rising federal program that will help restore the Rome Dam and riverbanks. The supervisor also said the grant awarded Wednesday will propel the town to begin work as soon as the funds are allocated. The engineering process has already commenced, Depo said, and the town desires to complete its water project some time next year while the completion of the riverbank may wait until 2019.
The $1.65 million Tupper Lake will receive is a bit of a misnomer as the money will actually go toward upgrading its sewage system treatment plant and pipes.
The entire project will cost approximately $6 million and, in the same fashion as the village’s water project, will require more grants and loans as well as contribution from the taxpayers’ sewer bills.
Mayor Paul Maroun said there are no plans to raise the village and town rates above what they are now: $27.20 in the town and $22 in the village.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has requested the village upgrade its plant and install new pumps to service village sewer customers better.
“It helps us have cleaner water because you are processing sewer instead of just having septic facilities,” Maroun said. “If I could expand it more someday to include more parts of Tupper Lake that are along the Raquette River, I’d love to.”