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New Scotland OK's New Salem water project

$3M extension hinges on purchase agreement with Bethlehem

— A long journey to bring municipal water service to New Salem has taken a major step forward, but more than 150 residents affected will have to wait a little longer before the tap is turned on.

The New Scotland Town Board on Wednesday, May 8, unanimously approved the boundaries of the New Salem Water District, which generally encompasses the hamlet of New Salem. The approval also includes the general plan establishing the infrastructure and system to transmit water to more than 150 homes and some commercial properties.

The cost of establishing the water system for the district cannot exceed $3.05 million under the resolution, which includes pre-construction costs already incurred by the town totaling around $100,000.

“This is a very momentous occasion for about 150 people that live in the New Salem area,” Town Supervisor Thomas Dolin said. “We are still a long way from turning on the water, but we have really made some major commitments here.”

The push to establish the district started around eight years ago and Dolin said many residents volunteered to help see the district established. He said cooperation by Stantec Consulting Services, the project engineer, also helped.

“It was kept alive by these individual residents,” Dolin said.

The physical work required includes connecting to the existing Bethlehem Water District pipeline along Route 85, building a meter pit, building a booster pump station, installing a 200,000 gallon water tank adjacent to New Scotland’s highway garage, installing two pressure reducing values and running approximately 16,700 linear feet of 8-inch pipe.

The state Environmental Facilities Corporation is providing the funding to the town through an interest-free loan to be paid back in 30 years.

The final detail involves the water itself. Bethlehem Public Works Commissioner Erik Deyoe said the town’s attorneys have been working to develop an intermunicipal water purchase agreement to sell water to New Scotland.

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