Village and town have high hopes for block grant


NORTH EAST - North East and Millerton have received good news - they are on the short list to receive funding from the community development block grant (CDBG) program.

"This news is exciting because we're working together with the town to provide a major improvement for the water district," Millerton Mayor John Scutieri said, adding that he just received notification about the village's preliminary standing on Monday.

The proposed project is to tie together two dead ends in the water district, to help provide a steady flow of water throughout the town and the village. The water "dead ends" that would be tied together are at Mill Street and at South Center Street.

"It will greatly improve fire flow, and be less taxing on the water district overall," Scutieri said.

The town and the village both applied for $150,000 in block grant money for a total of $300,000 for the entire project. The county awarded each municipality $100,000 - bringing the total amount to be awarded for this project to $200,000.

"We applied for $300,000, but it looks like we're being approved for $200,000," Scutieri said. "We'll have to talk with the county and our engineers to see if there's a way to handle the project that can be cheaper."

"That's going to have to be discussed between the town and the village to see what the options are, whether the whole project as it was originally envisioned will be constructed and if funding will be sought from other sources or if the project will be partially constructed," said North East town Supervisor Dave Sherman.

Sherman said the proposal was an ideal one for both municipalities to work on together.

"We talked about it last fall when it was first being proposed," he said. "It was something the mayor and I were very much in agreement of, to present to our perspective boards for approval."

According to Sherman, one of the things that was discovered when the engineers took a look at the water system was that there's a limited amount of "cross connection" between the water mains in the village area and those in the town water district.

"We have a situation where there are smaller mains on South Elm Avenue that are not sufficient for the purpose of being able to supply fire flow, and it's not just due to the size of the main," Sherman said. "Having flow in more than one direction, to provide the kind of water service you want to, not for everyday use only, but for emergency use for a fire, is important. The improvement itself would add to the stability of the pressure and increase the flow when needed in that area of the town and village."

The county will have to hold a public hearing on the block grant program, and its intended grant recipients. After that it will send out notice to confirm which municipalities have been awarded grant funds. Both Scutieri and Sherman have said they're hopeful their village and town, respectively, will be on that final list.

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