HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — Officials have given the green light to a study on extending municipal water and sewer lines in an effort they say would prevent future contamination from PFOA.
The Village Board on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution that allows the village to engage with a firm to study expanding utilities along state Route 22. The Town Board adopted a similar resolution on Monday.
The village and town, as separate municipalities, will split the cost of the $46,000 study, to be carried out by the MRB Group, according to Mayor David Borge.
Officials are looking to have the study and accompanying engineering report completed by August. Borge said that's the deadline to be considered for funding under the Environmental Facilities Corporation's state revolving fund program.
The EFC is "highly encouraging" the municipalities to apply, according to Borge. The project could be eligible for grants or loans with zero or low interest.
Action by officials this week does not cover the cost of the overall project. Borge said both the town and village boards would need to have public hearings after the study. And each board would have to discuss "what's the best and affordable way" to complete a project.
"We have a lot of people looking at us. And we have some opportunities now that may not exist as time goes on," Borge said.
The Hoosick Falls Central School District, Borge said, "is looking at how much if any of that $23,000 it could contribute towards." Administrators with the Hoosac School have also expressed interest in having municipal water and sewer, he said.
The study would look at various options for extending the village water and sewer lines, Borge said. Such a project would bring service to residences on or near Route 22 — like homes on Bovie Hill and Wilson Hill Roads — as well as businesses on the outskirts. The study would also look at the system's capacity and how to address existing water pressure issues in areas like Snow Street.
The HFCSD is served by a private well and testing has not detected PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, the chemical that contaminated the village water supply and numerous private wells. In January, the state said it would pay for a filter on the school's Route 22 campus, to protect people from possible future contamination. The granulated activated carbon (GAC) filter, similar to ones installed at the water treatment plant and in homes with contaminated wells, was installed in March, but it has not been turned on.
The agenda for Wednesday's Village Board meeting included numerous items, but was dominated by talk of water contaminated by PFOA.
Officials said water rebates to residents are being mailed out. To date, 862 water rebates have been mailed out, representing most of the single-family homes.
Resident Keith Cipperly questioned whether the rebate he received was accurate and whether the village would have any money left over from what it received from the state.
Borge said the rebates are reflective of water use from Oct. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. He said the village received $178,478.87 from the state and would not have any money left over.
Cipperly asked: "If the figures are wrong, what are you going to do, go back through, figure things a little differently, and send another rebate to the homeowner?"
"At this time we don't think the figures are incorrect," Borge said. If a homeowner feels their rebate is incorrect, he said, they should contact the village clerk's office.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979