TUPPER LAKE - The village will get two-thirds of the cost of its $3 million water project paid for by a state grant, and the rest will be covered by interest-free financing.
Village officials had a pretty good idea they would get at least some of that money, since it was first on the list for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund until Ticonderoga had a problem with its water and bumped Tupper Lake out of the top position.
But they weren't sure about it until they received a letter Sept. 21 from Albany confirming the award. Village water and wastewater Superintendent Mark Robillard announced the funding at the village board's Monday night meeting, saying it "will be huge for the community and the well project."
The funding has to be used by Sept. 19, 2014.
The village is in the final phases of designing a set of wells to replace a water treatment center on Maddox Lane that is out of compliance with a number of Department of Health standards. It would have cost $6 million to $7 million to bring that facility up to code.
So instead the village looked into the idea of switching to groundwater for part of its water supply. Contractors hired by the village found enough water beneath village-owned sites on Water Street to justify installing wells.
Village officials have touted wells as an attractive alternative because, besides costing less to install than surface water treatment facilities, there are fewer filtering requirements on well water, and it's cheaper to treat.
Village Clerk Mary Casagrain told the Enterprise Wednesday that engineers with the company Malcolm Pirnie are finalizing the design for the two wells in hopes of being ready to seek bids for construction on the project in January or February. She said village officials hope construction can start in the spring.
So far, the village has spent $150,000 on the study, testing and design phases of the project. It took out a bond-anticipation note on that money and is paying it off now. Casagrain said the village hopes to roll that into the $979,790 in interest-free financing through the state revolving fund.
The village put together a $3.5 million bond resolution for the project, to allow for cost overrun, but Casagrain said village officials are confident the whole project can be done for $3 million.