BROADALBIN - The town officially has established a water district for its Union Mills water line project, a procedure that clears the way for the town to begin building the line along the road.
It created the district after a public hearing on the project at a meeting earlier this month. The town likely will soon have full permission to begin building the water line, which would serve 24 households whose wells previously were contaminated by road salt from a town shed.
The project is subject to a permissive referendum, and if 5 percent or more of the total number of town residents who voted in the 2006 gubernatorial election sign a petition opposing the district, the matter will appear on the ballot in elections this fall.
Supervisor Lee Hollenbeck said he thinks there will not be that much opposition to the project.
"It'll be fine," he said. "I don't see any problem."
Residents will have until Aug. 1 to sign off on a water supply agreement that stipulates they will not sue the town for any future incidents regarding salt contamination of the water. Hollenbeck said 18 of 24 residents already have signed the agreement, and one resident has indicated he is not interested in connecting to the line.
Under the agreement, the town will pay for the five years of water and for water connections between the main water line and residential meters. It also will incur all expenses associated with building a water line along the road and any other infrastructure costs related to the project.
The project's specifications indicate it will cost about $592,000, but Hollenbeck has said he hopes federal stimulus money or a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help pay for about half of those costs.
If the project is approved for stimulus funds, Hollenbeck said the town could pay off the water line in about five years. Last month, the village agreed to cede ownership of the water line to the town after it is paid off. Without that permission, the town would not have been able to apply for any sort of grant for the project.
The district will be known as Water District No. 1 in the town.