Last February we had 3 days in a row of 60-70 degree days. And then we got 30+ more inches of snow in March.
Operating and maintaining a Village is like the weather. Some great days, some crappy days, but for the most part our days are nice and give us hope.
I will be writing about a few projects over the next couple of weeks covering water/fire hydrants, the DOT project (NYS solution to fixing our flooding problems), Solar and LED street lights, changes to Frontenac Park, the LWRP process, the illegal casino and anything else I can think of, or that you ask about.
So let me start with the most visible one, 14 bagged hydrants.
This project is of course about more than the bright yellow bags. It is the start of a critical infrastructure fix. As it is in most of the country, we have an aging and brittle infrastructure. This includes old water pipes and valves, non-working hydrants, sidewalks that are in need of repair or don’t exist (as well as the mid 1800’s slate which are often slippery and dangerous) and many other less visible problems.
Our original main water lines were put in in 1938. Others have been added over the years as the Village has seen need and/or expanded. Our fire hydrant stock is similar, with the oldest 30+ (out of 54) being installed in the 1950’s. Even with constant attention and maintenance, these will eventually fail.
The Village has had multiple meeting with the MRB Group engineer and we believe the best way to fix and provide for long term access, is to implement a multiple insertion valve system (32 different shut off stations). This will allow us to segment out different sections of water lines without having to shut down the whole Village and associated Town water delivery systems.
We will start with insertion valves nearest the bagged hydrants and replace them by shutting down and controlling small sections. After the initial 14 hydrants are replaced we will continue to set in insertion valves to replace an additional 18 of the oldest working hydrants. With the 4 new ones we replaced in 2016-2017, we will then have about 40 “new” hydrants in our village.
We are also implementing a work program in our DPW to regularly exercise all of the hydrants (54) in the village. And 20% of the hydrants will be flow tested each year per ISO standards.
The insertion valves will also allow us to better maintain our existing water supply and flow, and fix other leaks as they happen without risk of shutting down the whole system.
All of this comes with a cost! We have been working diligently to try to get supplemental Clean Water funding as the total project cost is over $750,000. and our goal is to “git-r-done” this summer.
Coming soon, I will update everyone as best I can on the NYS DOT flood mitigation project.
Mayor Bud Shattuck