County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Thomas LeGrand, Chairman of the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWA) hosted a ground breaking ceremony for the Central Dutchess Water Transmission Line (CDWTL) project which will link the Town and City of Poughkeepsie water system to the towns of LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.
The $33.25 million waterline project will run 13 miles from Poughkeepsie to East Fishkill. The line will transport water from the Hudson River to the already developed south central Dutchess area. The project was initiated by County Executive Steinhaus in 1998 when he launched an effort with other community leaders. The transmission line is scheduled to be completed by the Fall of 2006 and will have the capacity to carry up to 10 million gallons of water per day. Initially IBM has contracted to take 2 million gallons per day. The water line will start at Overocker Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie over much of the former Maybrook rail corridor to Hopewell Junction. From Hopewell Junction, it will follow County Route 31 (Palen Road) to NYS Rt. 52 and the IBM East Fishkill complex.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “Anytime we can put major infrastructure in place that will benefit the County for generations to come and find partners that will provide two-thirds of the cost, we have a formula for success. This construction of the water line will complete the vision I put forth to create economic development, job creation and safe, environmentally desirable water system for both residents and business.”
Funding for the project is divided among four entities with IBM contributing $11.375 million, New York State provides $11.25 million, the County contributing approximately $11 million and the Town of East Fishkill contributing approximately $250,000.
The pipeline will also be the water source for the $2.5 billion IBM chip fabrication facility at the Hudson Valley Research Park.
"Today is a great day for the Hudson Valley and the people of Dutchess County," Governor Pataki said in a statement. "This pipeline will enable existing businesses like IBM to expand and allow the region to attract new jobs and businesses. I'm proud that our Pipeline for Jobs program is providing the necessary funds to make this project a reality. The investments we are making in Dutchess County and throughout the Hudson Valley will enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors now and for generations to come."
“We are expecting construction to gear up rapidly. The primary water line contractor, Cruz Construction, has begun to clear brush and establish erosion controls. Pipe and other materials are already being delivered,” said Chairman Thomas LeGrand, at the ground breaking.
Hank DeMarco, IBM East Fishkill Senior Location Executive said, “We are pleased that construction is beginning. This is one fine example of what can happen when the public and private sectors work together for the community good.”
“In addition to the IBM purchase of water, I understand the Water Authority has already received inquires from the Towns of East Fishkill and Wappinger regarding connections to potentially serve existing and planned development,” said Steinhaus.
Chairman Thomas LeGrand stated, "This project is the most important long term economic development and community development project in Duchess County’s history.” LeGrand went on to say how proud he is of the effort of all parties to see it through .
New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) President Thomas J. Kelly, representing Governor Pataki at the ground breaking said, "Thanks to Governor Pataki's unwavering support for and commitment to this project, Dutchess County's water transmission line is becoming a reality. As the pipeline brings enhanced supplies of quality water into the residents of the southern areas of the County, it also will bring with it increased economic development and employment opportunities by allowing for the expansion of existing businesses like IBM and the opening of new businesses."
The design and construction of the Dutchess County water is being made possible with a total of $11,250,000 in financial assistance from the State's Pipeline for Jobs Program, a program that was created by the Governor and the State Legislature, and administered by EFC. EFC is a public benefit corporation that administers financial and technical assistance programs for environmental and public health projects in New York State.
Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature, Bradford Kendall stated, “The installation of the pipeline is a testament to the collaborative efforts between IBM, New York State, East Fishkill, and Dutchess County.” Kendall went on to add, “Providing critical infrastructure is a core responsibility of government and allows for appropriate growth in our community.”
“As a result of a policy decision after discussion with a local fire district close to the line, water will be made available for fire fighting purposes via hydrants at intersections along the route that can also be used to fill tanker trucks. The New Hackensack Fire District has already executed a Memorandum of Understanding to use the water for emergency fire fighting,” Executive Steinhaus added.
“In East Fishkill the water line will give us greater flexibility and greater reliability in meeting water needs for existing and future development particularly as we address some of the areas with groundwater pollution,” said Town of East Fishkill Supervisor Peter Idema.
There is also potential for further connections in the future with a proposed water line from Fishkill to IBM which could serve additional emergency sources should any community system in the Town and Village of Fishkill or the City of Beacon experience problems. “One of our long term goals is to tie more systems together, as we do so, we provide greater reliability for everyone,” said Chairman LeGrand.
According to Richard Chazen, President of the Poughkeepsie based Chazen Companies, who will manage the construction phases, "We are thrilled to be working in cooperation with such a diverse group of professionals, including the partners, contractors and Dutchess County. We believe this vital infrastructure will help support the growth of the county today, as well as in the future."
Tom LeGrand said, “I want to thank County Executive Steinhaus and Chairman Brad Kendall for their leadership in moving this project to construction. “