DRESDEN — At their Jan. 14 meeting, the Torrey Town Board passed resolutions regarding the development of their first public water district along Rte. 14 south of the Benton town line and east to Seneca Lake.
Water District No. 1 will be operated and maintained by the Town of Benton, so project engineer Jeremy Delyser proposed the first resolution for the equipment to be purchased agree with that used by Benton for the sake of efficiency.
The second was a restriction resolution in the agricultural district to prevent development of multi-unit dwellings to no more that five units. The reasoning is to fend off prospective condominium speculators attracted by the availability of public water.
The third resolution is for the filing of application and payment of associated fees with the State Departments of Conservation, of Health, of Ag. & Markets, of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers, Municipal Solutions, and AECOM, that parent company of Norfolk Southern Railroad. Delyser says the fee for just applying for pipes to be tunnel-drilled beneath the railroad is $2,500, and the permit cost per subterranean crossing can be $4,000 to $6,000. Delyser says he does hope that with multiple crossings, a lower cost might be negotiated.
As the project now stands, 29 easement agreements are being sent to the town attorney for drafting and signatures. But one resident has flatly refused to grant an easement through his property, raising the cost of the project. A motion by Councilman Grant Downs to send one more letter to that resident asking him to reconsider was voted down 3-2 as a hopeless cause. That property will still be able to have access to the water in the future, but with a much longer connection to the main on Rte. 14.
Residents of the district, speaking for those who do not read The Chronicle-Express, asked for a letter updating the status of the project be sent to all of them, including an estimated date of completion. The board will include the information in the next Torrey Newsletter, but it would be premature to set a completion date.
The question of water rates was raised. Delyser was of the belief that Benton, as the supplier, operator, and manager of the district, would set the rates. Town Supervisor Patrick Flynn believes that Benton would set their rate for the water, but ultimately Torrey would set the rate for ratepayers to include capital costs and debt service.
As for the proposed water district on Perry Point, Planning Board Chairman and Perry Point resident David Granzin says talks with the Village of Dresden have completely broken down over cost and billing issues. “They won’t talk to us,” said Granzin, “at least they won’t talk to me.”