Village of Whitehall seeks partial abatement of bill; Dam property sold

The village plans to ask for the partial abatement of expenses related to the replacement of a sewer line completed earlier this fall.
The board of trustees will ask Cutting Edge, the company that completed the work, to reduce the village’s $51,000 bill by $4,000.

Officials claim that figure represents the amount of money the village had to pay to correct an engineering mistake made by Cutting Edge.

“That was an error their people made when the pipe was installed backwards,” Mayor Peter Telisky said during last week’s monthly board meeting.

In October, Cutting Edge was hired to install approximately 250 feet of new sewer pipe near the corner of Williams and Saunders Streets.

Cutting Edge installed the pipe using a method known as directional boring, in which engineers drill a hole underground without having to excavate the entire area. However, the pipe was installed at a negative pitch causing water in the pipe to flow in the opposite direction.

The pipe had to be dug up, the ground excavated at the correct pitch and the pipe reinstalled.

Officials estimate they spent nearly $5,000 in labor and expenses to correct the error.

The board agreed to pay Cutting Edge $47,000 out of the $51,000 bill.

The project will be paid for using monies from a $2 million emergency plan the village has utilized to make improvements to its troubled sewer system.

The project, which essentially eliminated a section of antiquated sewer line, helps the village come into compliance with state Department of Environment Conservation regulations.

 

The board of trustees announced it sold the Pike Brook Dam.

Officials said the village received $4,725 for the property, less than a tenth of what the village was asking for a little more than a year ago.

The village had been trying to sell the picturesque 18 acre plot of land off of Pike Brook Road for more than a year after a DEC inspection revealed it would cost nearly $500,000 to bring the dam into compliance.

Instead of fixing the dam at that price, the village listed the property for sale and had been trying to sell it for the better part of a year.

The land had been listed for Tyler Real Estate for $49,900.

The repairs could be made for less by a private owner because they aren’t held to the same standards regarding prevailing wages as a municipality.

The dam was been built around 1924 and is roughly 30 feet high and 75 feet across, and made entirely of concrete.

The dam has approximately 2.6 million gallons of water behind it and was used primarily as a back-up source of drinking water, although it hasn’t been used in over 30 years.

Most of the area surrounding the dam is undeveloped.

 

The village has approved a resolution proposed by trustee Ken Bartholomew to begin the process of entering into a ten year DEC approved forest plan for land surrounding the village’s water reservoir in Dresden.

If the plan is approved, the village could realize a considerable tax savings on the property, which is assessed for nearly $600,000.

Jim Allen, the village’s forester is expected to file the necessary paperwork on behalf of the village.

It’s expected to cost the village $1,500 to put the plan together but if approved, the village could receive up to a 50 percent break on its taxes.

 

The board also agreed to abate any water bills incurred by the Town of Whitehall at theits office and highway garage.

The town will continue to meter the water so it can keep accurate tally of water usage.

 

 

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