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Lily Dale gets update on $2.2M water project

‘Fresh’ improvements

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Ryan Reitz of E & M Engineers listens to audience concerns about a water project in Lily Dale during a meeting of the Pomfret Town Board held at the Lily Dale Fire Hall.

LILY DALE — Residents got an update this month on an upcoming water piping replacement project, as the Pomfret Town Board held a meeting at the fire hall here.

About 15 people who live in the hamlet took advantage of the board’s foray outside Town Hall and peppered their guest, Ryan Reitz of E&M Engineering, with questions about the water line work.

Reitz gave a brief presentation about it first. He talked up the project’s general contractor, E and R General Construction, which signed a contract worth $2,267,342 with the town for the work. “I’ve got outstanding references from them. They went through the USDA clearing process flawlessly,” he said.

Next, he acknowledged that while the contractors want to begin work as soon as possible, “it will be hard to pin down an exact date” due to materials shortages.

Reitz said all residents will get notified in writing when construction begins. Once that happens, temporary street closures should be expected, he said.

The project will replace the hamlet’s general water piping. Residents will be responsible for replacing piping that leads to their homes from the meter pits that connect with the system. Streets where work is occurring will get repaved, once it’s done.

Reitz said the intention is to have the construction done by the start of Lily Dale Assembly’s summer 2022 season. Work will happen throughout the winter, weather permitting.

“Everything should look fresh and clean,” he said.

“Hallelujah,” replied an audience member.

Another citizen asked if the water service will be on during the project. Reitz said the current system will work throughout the project, but disruptions are possible if workers accidentally hit the old pipes.

An audience member asked for a list of plumbers to help with the connections from the system to residences. Board member Brett Christy said that while the town cannot legally provide such a list, many plumbers in the area are experienced in such connections. Residents on a street could probably get a group rate from a plumber, who would then construct the connections on the entire road, he said.

“You can get that connection laid out and it can just sit there and wait,” board member Ann Eckman said.

Asked about which streets would get done first, Reitz said that was up to the contractor. He said he would ask them to post a schedule of work at the Assembly Hall. Supervisor Dan Pacos added the updates should get done weekly.

Pacos also pointed out that the contractors will want to work quickly, as materials and the cost of labor seem to be getting more expensive with every passing day.

The town will buy Cassadaga water and sell it back to a new water district composed of Lily Dale residents. Town officials said costs of the pipe work would get parceled out to individuals, with billing now related to usage rather than “per toilet,” as they put it. The Lily Dale Assembly will cover the costs of the paving.

“It’s been sort of like herding cats to get everybody to this point,” Pacos said.

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