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Wawarsing supervisor says infrastructure a priority in 2017

Parking lot

William J. Kemble
January 9, 2017

WAWARSING, N.Y. >> Supervisor Leonard Distel sees infrastructure needs as taking a priority in 2017 under grant applications that have been approved during the past year.

The forecast was provided during a telephone interview Monday. Distel said a $750,000 state Community Development Block Grant and $600,000 in grant funding from the state Office of Community Renewal will be used toward waste water treatment plant upgrades.

“There was also a $50,000 grant so that we can put in an electric charging station at Lippman Park and a generator at the Town Hall,” he said. “There was another $100,000 for a pump station on Carlo Drive with a $250,000 state Department of Transportation grant for sidewalks and curbing in the hamlet of Kerhonkson. Those projects are expected to be done this year.”

Distel added that construction on flood prevention along the Beerkill and Sanburg creeks will begin this year under New York Rising projects that have been under development for nearly five years.

Officials also plan to conduct a feasibility study to determine the effects of revitalizing Colony Farm, with the cost of the study covered through grants of $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $20,000 for the Empire State Development Corporation.

Distel said he also expects that savings will begin this year on a planned solar array being constructed on the former town landfill.

“We have signed a 25-year contract with Solar Liberty of Buffalo to construct five acres of solar panels,” he said. “Construction is expected to start this month and be completed by July. This will reduce the town of Wawarsing electric bill by $31,000 per year.”

Additional electric savings are expected to come from update street light fixtures, according to Distel.

“We’re going to be changing over the LED lighting, which will be more efficient and cost effective to operate,” he said. “It’s going to reduce the costs for customers in those six districts.”

Work on the O&W Rail Trail is also expected to continue during 2017.

“We have established another link by getting an easement through the maximum security prison ground,” Distel said. “That goes to the village, and now we have it going all the way to Port Ben.”