MOIRA –– The proposed creation of water and sewer systems in the town has so far failed to generate significant public support, the engineer heading up the project told the Town Board on Tuesday.
Surveys sent out to town residents have so far shown more support for the water project than the sewer project, but even the water project has not garnered a majority of those who have responded, project engineer Kevin Feuka said.
As in the village of Brushton, which is also exploring the possibility of creating a municipal water and sewer system, Feuka said he is having trouble getting surveys back. However, from returns in the town so far, Feuka said he is finding that more residents in Moira support a new water system but not a new sewer system. Even the water system plan so far has not won support from a majority of those who have responded, he said.
“There is just under a 20% return,” said Feuka. “We are still getting 43% of people saying they support water but more people are saying no than yes.”
He said the surveys have helped identify specific population clusters where he thinks people might be more supportive of the project and plans to go to those areas to talk to residents.
“Knowing where the popular areas are and knowing where it is more likely to be acceptable, that is where I am going to start diving into,” said Feuka.
Despite the survey results, Town Board members signed on as the lead agency in the plans to build water and sewer plants at their meeting Tuesday night.
Feuka told the board of several areas that he has identified as locations where the plants could be built. Feuka, with c2ae, the firm that would design the project, said the locations that they are looking at for the wastewater treatment plant are along County Route 8. No location has been selected yet, but the plant would need to built on land that is between 20 and 100 acres, he said.
As for the water system, Feuka said he envisions a pipeline that runs “outside of Route 11 just past the hamlet, goes just past the (State Route) 95 intersection to Clarke Street and goes up and does a loop back to Route 11,” said Feuka. “There is also another area just outside of Route 95,” he said.
Having the water system in a loop will benefit everyone, Feuka said.
“When you loop a water main, you have better reliability,” he said. “If a spot breaks down, you can close off an area and then it can feed from another direction.
“Looping also gives you better water quality,” said Feuka.
All the information about the potential locations will next go through all the databases online to see if there are any significant issues that his firm should be made aware of.
His firm will then send out letters and maps to the state departments of environmental conservation and health, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and the state historic preservation office.
Those agencies will look through their records and report back what might be found on the properties under consideration.
Feuka said the findings from those agencies should come back in about a month. Once they are received, those involved in the project will look at the findings and obtain any necessary state permits to complete the process.
Because the work might involve construction on U.S. Route 11, a copy of the resolution would need to be sent to federal Department of Transportation.
He said he still does not know how much the project will cost or how much money might be coming from grants to pay for the plant.
“I have to go through the environmental process, which takes about a month and I will come back next month and give you the findings of the environmental impact reports,” said Feuka.
It is also not known where the water would be coming from. Feuka said the original idea was to have it come from wells in the village of Brushton but he said all of the sites for testing are now located in the town. The location for the plant was also suppose to be in Brushton but Feuka said most of the sites that his firm has identified are also in the town.
“In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be going out and do a lay-of-the-land survey to help better identify some spots,” said Feuka.