$1.1 million in grant funds secured for upgrades to Arkville Water District

By Julia Green
The Middletown Town Board has secured over $1.1 in grant funds and approximately $800,000 in low-interest loan money to offset the nearly $2 million price tag attached to necessary upgrades to the Arkville Water System.
The board will outline its financial plan and additional information at a public information meeting to be held on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the town hall.
The agenda for the meeting will include an explanation of the project and its projected cost to taxpayers, as well as a discussion regarding funds secured to offset costs.
The project itself focuses on what the town board identifies as “much-needed repairs” to the Arkville Water System, including addressing the issue of water main breaks that affect water quality and the lack of back-up water supply that could be needed in case of an emergency. Improvements made to the system would include a new well to serve as a back-up water supply, replacement of a deteriorating water main and elimination of two dead ends in the distribution system, as well as installation of new water meters.
Despite the roughly $2 million projected cost, the board aimed to minimize the cost to taxpayers by securing grant funds and low-interest loans.
A motion was passed at the September meeting of the town board to sign a grant contract with the Governors Office for Small Cities (GOSC) for a $600,000 grant to fund the project. It was specified that should the project go awry, the town would not be held liable for the funds provided that none are spent; signing of the contract merely secures the money and establishes the necessary credit line.
At the public information meeting, the board will address the anticipated cost to individual property owners and will provide attendees with figures on the project tax rate increase that would result from the project. Adjustments will also be made to water rate fees in the district, which the board said had not been raised in over 20 years.
Construction on the project is anticipated to commence in the spring of 2010 and be mostly completed by the end of that year.
An “information letter” has been drafted, and will be mailed to property owners within the water district this week.
Residents in the Arkville Water District who are unable to attend the informational meeting but who wish to submit comments or questions may do so by contacting Middletown Town Supervisor Leonard Utter at 845.586.2462 or middsuper@catskill.net. Regular mail correspondence may be sent to the Office of the Town Supervisor, P.O. Box 577, Margaretville, NY 12455.

Assemblyman visits
Clifford Crouch will be in attendance at a meeting to discuss the tentative 2009 budget with the Middletown Town Board on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The public is invited to attend the special meeting, which will begin immediately following the board’s monthly workshop and will be held at the Town Hall building in Margaretville.