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North Elba seeks grant for Ray Brook water improvements

June 15, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The town of North Elba will seek to pay for water infrastructure improvements in its Ray Brook district through a grant.

The town will formally apply for the grant after its councilmen unanimously authorized the signing of a WIIA grant application at its monthly meeting, held Tuesday evening at the North Elba Town Hall.

Town Supervisor Roby Politi said the primary improvements the town seeks funding for are to replace 9,000 linear feet of distribution mains located in the existing highway right of way and to replace an existing 150,000 gallon water storage tank with a 250,000 gallon distribution storage tank.

"All necessary for the general health and welfare of the water system users in Ray Brook." Politi said.

Before the vote, town Councilman Derek Doty, who lives in Ray Brook, asked Politi if there is a cap to the amount of money the grant can provide. Politi replied that to his knowledge there is no maximum.

Doty then sought clarification with regards to any easements needed for the work.

"I don't remember talking about the easement question," he said. "Do you (Politi) know any more about that? Are we going to need legal help for that? Do we need to increase easements?

"No, this would just be, if there are easements, the replacement would be within those easement areas," Politi replied.

Doty also posed the question to Politi that if the grant doesn't go through, what would happen then?

"Can 140 (water) users in Ray Brook handle this thing and is there money to be used until some of our other ventures get online?" Doty asked. "I mean, that's the crux of this whole problem, and I'm one of the 140."

"No, I agree and I just don't know that," Politi said. "I think that we need to go this route first."

The town administers the hamlet's water district, but it's operated by the village of Lake Placid. The water supply for much, but not all, of Ray Brook comes from a well located on a one-acre parcel near the Saranac Lake Golf Club. Doty has said his great aunt donated the land to the town in the 1940s.

Last August, the Ray Brook Water District was judged to have the best-tasting tap water of seven communities that participated in the 2016 Northern New York Regional Tap Water Taste Test. The test was held at the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon expo last July and overseen by the state Department of Health's Saranac Lake District Office.



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