Washingtonville council continues water talks

WASHINGTONVILLE – Village council heard a report from Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat on Monday regarding its EPA violation of levels of TTHM in its water over last year, a problem that persists.

Washingtonville buys its water from Salem. On Monday Salem distributed a drinking water notice that its system “recently violated the maximum contaminant level” for TTHM over the past year. It advised that customers did not have to use an alternative source of water, but people with specific health concerns should consult a doctor.

Salem’s TTHM was 0.089 MG/L against a standard of 0.080 MG/L. Last month Gudat reported the village’s TTHM annual average was 0.085 MG/L.

Councilman Allen Vignon asked, “Is Salem doing anything to fix their water?”

There was nothing he learned since the last meeting, Gudat said, adding, “This isn’t an overnight fix … but we can’t continue getting violations.”

He explained the grant applications for an air-bubbler and mixer were in the process and Councilwoman Becky Vignon asked, “How many violations can we get?”

Gudat was unsure but said it would look better to the EPA “if we’re trying” and Council President Ramona Custer agreed they might be more lenient.

Mayor Will Jones suggested they see what happens with the grant applications which will put any definitive action about a year away.

Gudat also advised council that the Quicksall Engineering company recommended more evaluation on the water distribution system on the east end of town where pressure is low.

“A booster station is not going to fly,” Gudat said, explaining the cost with seven customers who would be affected.

Councilman Jim Smith asked, “What are the other options?”

“Possibly raising the water tower,” Gudat said, and Jones noted that “sounds expensive.” Gudat said it might be easier to obtain a grant for that instead of a booster station.

Becky Vignon said they should have a representative from Quicksall attend the next meeting and Jones said, “I’m sure everyone has a question.” Gudat said he would arrange for a Quicksall representative to be at the March 17 meeting.

In other business, Road Supervisor Ed Garrett said the village had an estimated 15 to 20 tons of road salt available.

“We’re holding up pretty good,” he said, adding they might have to order salt for next year.

“Amazingly the roads have been holding up well,” Jones said, comparing them to other municipalities.

Councilman Herman Frank noted that Washingtonville Road, outside the village, gets worse, and Becky Vignon also pointed to Lisbon Road, adding, “but it’s not ours.”

Jones asked council to be prepared to decide on what it wants to do with its chip and seal program this year.

County Engineer Bert Dawson scheduled a meeting at 1:40 p.m. March 25 with the village to present its list of roads it wanted in the program.

Jones said, “If we’re going to do the chip and seal program, we’ll have to get going.” He asked council to consider whether to pave or chip and seal High Street.

Street Committee member Becky Vignon, who reviewed the village streets last year, said they needed the snow to melt to determine the streets most in need of the program.

In other business, Jones said he would make a $100 donation for the police department to purchase sticker badges to hand out to children they come into contact with on a daily basis.