One month after water sale negotiations between East Williston and Williston Park concluded, the contract remains unsigned and East Williston is still mulling over building its own well.
The East Williston board received a final version of the contract on Wednesday, village officials said. The agreement — the result of months of negotiations by both village boards — would establish an exclusive long-term deal for water to continue to be sold from Williston Park to East Williston.
Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar said that the contract is complete and the village board expected to hear back from its neighboring village in the “not too distant” future.
“There really won’t be more revisions on this document; that’s where we stand, we are finished,” Ehrbar said, adding that he was unsure about East Williston’s progress with its well proposal.
In early March, East Williston officials announced that the village would put out a $7.5 million bond resolution for public referendum so residents could weigh in on which water supply option to pursue.
East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that the village board still intended to move forward with a referendum, but that the agreement needed to be finalized first.
“Things never seem to happen as quickly as everybody would like,” Tanner said. “The whole idea is that we have a choice.”
The proposal calls for two supply wells and a water tank to be built on a two-acre plot in Devlin Field, north of East Williston Avenue. Village officials are divided about the efficacy of this plan, with some touting the stability of fixed costs, and others saying there are too many unknowns at stake.
Setting a date for the referendum awaits further review of the agreement and the Nassau County Health Department’s approval of the contract’s emergency chlorination clause, Tanner said.
The proposed contract creates a 25-year agreement that would lock in East Williston’s current water rate of $4.33 per thousand gallons for two years. Any future rate increases would maintain the existing ratio between East Williston’s rate and Willison Park residents’ rate. The $300,000 that East Williston owes in penalties for late payments would be reduced by one-third.
Williston Park will provide East Williston with emergency chlorination, and East Williston will not double its insurance policy, as originally requested.
“We hit some roadblocks along the way but I think it can happen,” Ehrbar said.