State lawmakers applaud state’s $2.5 million contribution
By Zachary Matson
The village of Tupper Lake inched closer to funding a planned new water filtration plant this month after state officials announced a nearly $2.5 million grant to support the project.
Fixing the multiple problems with water is estimated to cost around $9 million, said village mayor Mary Fontana. The latest state funding brings the village to around $7.4 million secured.
Tupper Lake plans to shift its municipal water source back to Tupper Lake surface water just five years after moving to wells at the urging of the state, because iron-rich soils near the groundwater source have caused significant water discoloration for some users.
This summer the village tested a new filtration system to treat water pulled directly from Tupper Lake and is currently working with engineers on design plans by this summer.
Tupper Lake’s water woes
The Village of Tupper Lake plans to switch its water source back to the lake.
The new system will require a complete overhaul at the old water treatment plant on Maddox Lane. Fontana said she hopes the construction project can be financed without requiring a major contribution from local users.
“We are very, very close,” Fontana said. “We would like to replace their water supply without burdening the taxpayer further.”
Residents have grown frustrated with brownish water and separate concerns about carcinogenic treatment byproducts in the community’s Simon Pond water source. They detailed their concerns at public meetings with state and local elected leaders this summer.
Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and Assemblymember Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake, in a joint statement applauded the state grant for what Stec called a “transformative project.”
“Tupper Lake residents need clean water now, and the $2.5 million awarded by [the Department of Health] is the first step to fixing this issue,” Jones said.