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Town to discuss water supply options

Facing an uncertain and sometimes dwindling water supply, the Holland Town Board has set an Oct. 3 session to discuss options for the town.

"We didn't think we'd make the summer," Supervisor Gordon Hessel said Wednesday, referring to the wells on Water Street that some 460 households in town depend upon for water. The wells have steadily dipped in production capacity from about 200 gallons per minute to 120 gallons, he said.

One local option involves re-drilling a test well that was abandoned a few years ago on Legion Drive at the Community Center. Phase One of the project is estimated to cost $100,000. The board was scheduled to vote on a bond resolution for the project at Wednesday's meeting, but the lack of required financial data forced the matter to be delayed.

Hessel said it was doubtful whether the bond resolution -- which requires a two-thirds majority -- could be passed before the public hearing.

Regional water options will also be presented by CRA Engineering at the Oct. 3 meeting, along with the feasibility and cost associated with tapping into the Erie County water system for Holland residents.

CRA engineer Brian Smith, who has studied the town's predicament, said that whether residents choose a local water option or hook up to the regional supply, time is running out.

"The water supply is in a position where the town must take some action soon," he said.

Hessel told the board they should prepare to make a decision on the matter on Oct. 3.

The announcement surprised some board members, especially Geoffrey Hack, who thought the future of the town's water supply should be decided upon through a public referendum.

Town Attorney Ronald Bennett told the board that facility improvement decisions are indeed a board function. The meeting concluded with Hessel urging the trustees to study the water options carefully.

"This will be one of the most important decisions of your term of office," he said.

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