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Oyster Bay approves $10M for water projects

The Oyster Bay Town Board approved three bond issues Tuesday totaling $10.2 million for water projects.

Most of the borrowing will be for the Locust Valley Water District to fix a capital project that ran into trouble and to address water contamination.

Locust Valley Water District needs $2.4 million to complete a project authorized in 2006 that was originally supposed to cost $6.9 million to expand water capacity, Tom Hogan, attorney for the district, said.

"As oft happens, Murphy's Law applies to Locust Valley Water District," Hogan told the board.

The district faced increased water standards and a growing population and greater water needs, which necessitated a new well and a million-gallon storage tank, he said.

The district acquired an 8-acre parcel after threatening eminent domain. Then, he said, problems began: a test well collapsed, requiring $200,000 to rebuild; the tank had to be redesigned because it would not work structurally due to soil quality; the U.S. Geological Survey charged $19,000 for a study; and a failed transmission main had to be replaced at a cost of $625,000.

"Everything we touch requires additional work, additional services, additional engineering, additional planning and additional money," Hogan said.

The additional borrowing reflects a 34.8 percent increase in costs.

"When it's done, it's going to be the solution to our problems," Hogan said.

The district also must address contamination that has shut down one well and that Hogan said could shut down two more.

The board also authorized borrowing $5.7 million to install treatment facilities for three wells, Hogan said. The goal is to reopen the closed well by July and to pre-empt action on the two others, which under current standards don't have to be closed.

The town board also authorized the Oyster Bay Water District to borrow $2.1 million to rehabilitate an above-ground water tank on Mill River Road. The tank was rehabilitated in 2002, and its coating system is deteriorating and contains lead, said Donald MacKenzie, a Nassau County Legislator who serves as the district's attorney.

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