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A step forward in Vernon

Posted 2/13/20

VERNON — We are happy to see that some progress is being made in the town of Vernon to rectify the water problems that Vernon Center area residents are experiencing. It may be only at a …

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A step forward in Vernon

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VERNON — We are happy to see that some progress is being made in the town of Vernon to rectify the water problems that Vernon Center area residents are experiencing. It may be only at a communications level at this point but it’s still a step forward.

Vernon officials huddled with NYS Department of Transportation representatives on the issue of the poor quality water that residents say is salty, discolored and smells foul. Some suspect a former salt barn though Hamilton College studies indicate that the salt isn’t from the facility, but rather from naturally occurring salt deposits underground. More investigation is probably needed to find the source.

Councilor John Peters said about the session: “The town board-elected members and Oneida County Legislator Keith Schiebel went to Albany to meet with the New York State DOT commissioner and her staff and the department of health and their staff.”

Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, Brookfield, helped set up the confab.

Peters told the Daily Sentinel that the meeting was very successful in creating an avenue to look for grants to take the burden of the planned waterline off of taxpayers. The project would service 213 households and small businesses in the area, providing six miles of eight-inch water main, a water storage tank and a booster pump station. Water would be supplied to the Vernon Center area by the town of Vernon via an inter-municipal agreement.

An important point made by Peters is that the town now knows who to talk to when they need a DOT contact.

“We now know who to talk to to get things moving,” Peters said. “We’ve been gathering data for three years and getting with engineering firms discussing things like the water table, the water pressure, the size of tanks and pumps, who needs the water, and more.”

Hopefully, all this homework done by the town, combined with state assistance and expertise, will find a solution to Vernon Center’s salty water.

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