RH Village to overhaul water system

$8.9 million project gets USDA funding for first phase

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The Village of Red Hook will soon be initiating an ongoing, multifaceted and costly project to renovate its water system.

The goal is to modernize the water and sewage systems for the village and part of the town to decrease the amount of water wasted while accommodating for future growth. A secondary goal is compliance with a Dutchess County order for repairs on the current system.

According to village reports, the system serves more than 2,730 people through 827 service connections. The water source is from seven active drilled wells that draw from an underground aquifer located off Firehouse Lane.

The expansion of the village’s water systems is necessary to “Increase our storage capacity and accommodate any new development that could occur in our existing service area,” said village board member Brent Kovalchik, who is at the forefront of the water project. “Basically, we’re looking to provide water for our current needs, but also for the future,” he added.

According to Kovalchik, the projected cost of the entire project is $8.9 million.

The water project stems from a September 2010 notice from the Dutchess County Department of Health that the Village of Red Hook had almost 30 independent items in the water system that needed repair before the village could begin to issue water permits again.

Red Hook, after filing a preliminary engineering report with the help of C.T. Male and Associates, has received a preliminary funding estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which states that the village is “eligible to receive $1.27 million in low-interest loans” for the project, according to Kovalchik.

Phase One of the project will cost $1.3 million, Kovalchik said, and “will cover a new emergency generator at the well site, install flow meters to document and evaluate the source capacity – how much water we’re actually pulling out of the wells — well indicators, and new meters with radio-read meter heads for everyone in the village.”

Phase One will also include the expansion of the existing well storage tank by 10 feet at the well field site at the request of the USDA.

Because it was impossible for the village board to secure total funding for the project from the USDA, it will be broken up into distinct phases. Phase One is expected to be completed in the middle of 2014, and then the village will reapply for more USDA loan money to fund Phase Two.

Kovalchik said that Phase Two will be to take care of Red Hook’s water distribution system. “Right now, a lot of our pipes were put in in the 1930’s. What we’re trying to do is improve them – increase the size, make sure adequate pressure is there to provide for our service customers, and also make sure that our fire hydrants have pressure, so that in the event of a fire, we can put it out.”

Kovalchik said that the project could never have started without the “continuous and unanimous support” of the village trustees and Mayor Ed Blundell.

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