“Water district ratepayers are worried about how much they’ll have to shoulder from a proposed $1.2 million infrastructure plan aimed to address PFOA contamination and update the antiquated system.

The Petersburgh Town Board on Monday unanimously approved upping a previous bond resolution to $1.2 million to include various improvements to the small town’s water district — including abandoning old wells and establishing new ones. Roughly 80 properties are part of the water district…

A consent order was placed on the Taconic plastics plant to pay incremental operation and maintenance costs of the town public water system with the installation of an activated carbon treatment system to eliminate PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, in its water. Of the $1.2 million project, about $470,000 has been funded and overseen by Taconic.

The town is applying for a state grant to cover the costs.

‘The town board needs to pass the bond resolution in order to submit the grant application,’ said attorney Kevin Young, who represents the town on PFOA contamination matters.

The grant funding would come through the New York State Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, according to the town board’s resolution.

Rough estimates provided by Young show various financial impact to ratepayers. Those range from a maximum $12 additional cost annually per household to about $97 at the end of the assumed 30-year loan the town would take out for the remaining expenses not covered by the grant.

The costs also fluctuate due to Taconic offering to pay for the financing earlier in the payoff period as well as the expectation that old debt ratepayers are shouldering will retire in seven years, Young said…

Heinz Noeding, a Petersburgh resident who is a member of the water district committee, said ratepayers are frustrated with the what appears to be apathy toward the financial impacts this will have.

‘We think we’ve been placed in a very poor situation with Taconic,’ Noeding said. ‘The town board has not been aggressive enough.’

Further discussions on PFOA contamination in Petersburgh Monday evening come ahead of expected health questionnaire results to be released Tuesday regarding unreported cases of cancer and other illnesses linked to PFOA in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and Bennington.

It’s unclear whether the work completed by Taconic – being factored into the $1.2 million project costs – will be reimbursable through the grant, town officials said.”

Read the full article by Amanda Fries