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Village borrows $5M to fix aging water system

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In this February 2019 file photo, Catskill Village Trustee Joseph Kozloski reads a resolution authorizing a $250,000 bond for improvements to the village’s water system. The village board voted to borrow $5 million to repair and upgrade the aging water system. To cover the debt service, village water rates will increase by 10% in the third quarter and will show up in the October bills.
August 20, 2019 06:07 pm Updated: August 20, 2019 11:00 pm

CATSKILL — Village trustees authorized a bond of up to $5 million for improvements to the water plant and the water main.

The funds will be used to improve filtration and replace the water main beneath Main Street. The bond is tentative, based on the results of the village’s application for a Water Infrastructure Improvement grant from the state Environmental Facilities Corporation,

Trustee Joseph Kozloski said.

Village officials are hoping for a 60/40 split, where $3 million of the project is covered by the grant and the remaining $2 million is the village’s responsibility, Kozloski said.

To improve the filtration of the water that comes from the Potic Mountain Reservoir in Coxsackie, which serves the village, engineers are proposing to reintroduce a settling pond at the water plant, Kozloski said.

“This would give the organic material a chance to settle out and help with the filtration,” Kozloski said. “There would be less need for chlorination.”

By reducing the chlorine level, you also reduce the Trihalomethanes levels, Village President Vincent Seeley said in June.

“If there is less biological content in the water, it doesn’t react as much with chlorine,” Seeley said.

THMs, or Trihalomethanes, form a group of four chemicals that is created from that reaction and are used as an indicator of water quality, according to water-research.net.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guideline for THMs is 80 micrograms per liter.

The grant application, which is being prepared by Delaware Engineering, is due in September, Seeley said.

Due to aging infrastructure and challenging weather conditions throughout the year, the village Department of Public Works has been battling discolored water caused by a combination of heavy rainfall and water main breaks. Many of the breaks occurred in sub-zero temperatures.

In February the board approved a $250,000 bond to replace one of the filters at the water plant and purchase new water meters and new billing software to improve service for customers.

“This work is crucial to continue the development of Catskill,” Seeley said, alluding to the water main and filtration improvements. “We won’t be capable of expanding the system without making an upgrade.”

The bond, which was issued through the Bank of Greene County, will be repaid in quarterly payments of $15,000 for five years.

To accommodate the debt service, the village will raise water rates by 10% in the third quarter, Seeley said.