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DELAY IN FUNDING MEANS LONGER WAIT FOR WATER HOOKUP

Eden residents along parts of Derby, Sandrock and Ferrier roads who were expecting to be hooked up to public water service by the end of the year will be using well water longer than they thought.

The water district extension is facing a setback because of changes in the original loan/grant structure of the project that has delayed federal grant money to the town.

"I know there were a number of citizens who were hoping we'd get it in the ground by the end of the year," Supervisor Glenn Nellis said Wednesday.

The $242,800 in rural-development grant money that will help pay for part of the water district extension has not come through yet, and the town does not expect to receive the money for several weeks -- after the new federal fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Project Manager John R. Reid of R&D Engineering told the Town Board that the town is still in line for the money but that the agency is out of money until Congress reappropriates the funds. The funding is expected by Jan. 1.

"You are in line to get the funds, as soon as they are in place," Reid said.

The rest of the $590,000 project is to be paid for by $347,200 financed through 40-year bonds. Town officials Wednesday could not provide an estimate of the cost to residents.

The town had hoped to award bids for the project later this month, with work beginning this fall and wrapping up in late December. In August, the board approved the extension to the town's consolidated water district.

The delays upset at least one resident.

"I can't understand why for two years, we were told it was going to go, and now it is not," said Frank Sorrentino of Ferrier Road on the Eden/Evans border. "We've been listening to this for a number of months and years and still don't have financing in place. And we still don't know when we'll get our water lines. That's very frustrating."

Reid acknowledged that one state environmental report he reviewed noted traces of chemicals found in area ground water but said it did not pose health threats. Some residents have previously questioned what effect former municipal dumps in the area might have had on the water supply.

"We want water down there," Sorrentino said. "We think our wells are not as good as they were 30, 40, 50 years ago. . . . We want that water as quick as we can get it. We don't want to wait another year."

Once the funding is fully in place, and the town has first borrowed the money or secured bonds, Reid said, it should take about three months to construct the water lines. Survey work has been completed. Once design work begins, that should take about 30 days.

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