FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2013
Adam Bosch (DEP) (845) 334-7868
Scott Carlsen (Wawarsing) (845) 647-7800
Wawarsing and Department of Environmental Protection Announce Progress on Key Initiatives to Provide Town With Clean Water and Repair Homes
Three Projects to Provide Water, Repair Homes, and Alleviate Flooding to Begin This Fall
The Town of Wawarsing and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced progress on several projects aimed at providing clean drinking water and other help to homeowners in the hamlet of Wawarsing.
Last week, the town signed a contract with The Chazen Companies of Poughkeepsie to begin planning a public water system that will provide a reliable drinking water supply to homeowners and businesses throughout the hamlet of Wawarsing. Chazen this month will begin researching the potential location of wells to provide the water and will also work on outlining the boundaries of the new water district. Chazen will also assess the potential of connections with other water systems in the town to provide redundancy. New York City has provided $7 million toward the construction of the new water system.
New York City and the Town also signed a contract for a home repair program that will assist homeowners that have experienced flooding along Route 209 and its side streets. The $5.5 million program will help homeowners build utility-room additions which will allow them to relocate key utilities from their basements, add drainage systems, and other projects to alleviate high groundwater conditions experienced in the area. The Town also plans to finalize details of the program and hire an entity to manage it so that repairs can begin in the fall.
“We’ve worked really hard in partnership with New York City to get the funding for these important programs that will assist many homeowners in the heart of our town,” Wawarsing Supervisor Scott Carlsen said. “Now we look forward to building the water system, repairing the homes and delivering on our promise to help.”
“New York City made a commitment several years ago to help our neighbors in the Town of Wawarsing,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said. “The $12.5 million we are providing for a community water system and home repairs should reassure the homeowners that we are serious about that pledge, and we look forward to seeing these projects through to the end.”
Wawarsing this fall will also begin Phase II of drainage work on Lippman Pond, which was identified in a stormwater report as a major source of flooding along the Route 209 corridor north to Foordemoore Rd. after large storms. Phase I included the installation of a new catch basin and valve controls that will better handle water from storms while enabling the town to change the pond elevation in anticipation of wet and dry periods. Phase II will further improve the existing system by diverting the outflow through a new drainage pipe that connects with the Route 209 stormwater system south to the Vernooy Kill instead. This is expected to alleviate much of the surface-water flooding that had affected local homeowners. Bids on the project are expected by the end of this week, and construction is anticipated to begin in the fall.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.