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Glenville buys $1M water plant insurance

Town water supply study group appointed to new committee

Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle, right, swears in councilman John Pytlovany, left, during the town’s organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle, right, swears in councilman John Pytlovany, left, during the town’s organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Photo by John Purcell.

— “What was once thought as not possible became very real,” Koetzle said. “One could argue we had a 100 year flood, but I think the likelihood it could actually flood now is much greater than previously believed.”

He added it seemed prudent to not hold off on insuring the plant.

“It really wouldn’t be a benefit to wait,” Koetzle said. “Particularly this winter has been warm and wet … so it makes sense to get the protection we need in place as quickly as possible.”

Committee member notes flooding trends

The board also appointed members of a study group focusing on protecting the town’s water supply to the newly established Glenville Wellfield Protection Committee.

The new committee’s mission remains similar to that of the group before it: identifying any potential threats to the town’s water supply and developing strategies or programs to minimize or eliminate any threats. The seven-member committee consists of Chairman Carl George, Phil Adams, John Garver, Sarah Newell, Jason Pelton, Jacqueline Smith and Cal Welch.

“The board commissioned the study group prior to the floods,” Koetzle said. “As the flood became a reality it added another dynamic to what the group was doing … the potential for a flood has become a primary concern for the committee.”

George said recent flooding from Irene and Lee gave committee members “real concern” about the water plant’s vulnerability to flood damage.

“Several of us proposed to the Town Board that a special study be established,” George said. “I am delighted that such a committee has been formally accepted.”

George, a professor at Union College, said his colleague and fellow committee member John Garver has closely reviewed United States Geological Survey water flow records of the Mohawk River. George said Garver has noticed trends indicating an increased occurrence of flooding.

“It shows a significant trend for more storm events on the watershed of the Mohawk River and sure enough the recent storms tend to confirm Professor Dr. Garver’s work,” George said.

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