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Officials seek return of surveys

Information key to grant funding

— Ticonderoga officials are pleading with residents to return surveys mailed to them two weeks ago.

The confidential income surveys were sent to water customers in October. The information is needed to seek grant money for a $13.8 million water project.

“The response thus far has been fair to good, but a long way from the 65 percent response we need,” said Sue Huestis, Ti water and sewer clerk.

The surveys are crucial if Ticonderoga is to qualify for grant funding, trustee Wayne Taylor said.

“We’re pleading with people to please participate,” Taylor said. “This is very important.”

“If we don’t get responses by mail, representatives of the town will be knocking on doors,” Huestis said. “We have to get this information.”

Taylor said Ticonderoga is likely to get at least a $2 million grant to start the project, if the surveys are completed.

Facing a state mandate, the town of Ticonderoga is about to begin a comprehensive water system upgrade.

Town officials hope to replace the existing water system, which draws water from Lake George and Gooseneck Pond, with a series of wells.

The proposed groundwater project is estimated to cost up to $13.8 million.

That’s actually a bargain. The state Department of Health has ordered Ticonderoga to either replace Gooseneck or cover it. Covering the reservoir carries an estimated cost of $31 million. The state has also ordered repairs to the Lake George water system that could cost another $12-24 million.

Ticonderoga has been declared a hardship case by the state, which makes it eligible for a no-interest loan to cover the project. That’s good news, but local officials are hoping for a better deal with the help of residents.

In 2009 the state Department of Health ordered Ti to replace or cover the Gooseneck reservoir, which was created in 1931. The town developed a plan to replace the reservoir with tanks, but a recent inspection discovered problems with the Gooseneck dam and with transmission lines, Taylor explained.

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