Moriah Construction of a new water district in Moriah will begin this week.
Riznick Construction, New York Division, will do the $1.8 million project in water district 4, which will serve the Forge Hollow, Elk Inn Road and Stone Street area.
Construction will continue as long as weather allows, Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. It will be completed in the spring. The entire project is expected to take 12 to 15 weeks.
The project is being financed by a pair of unexpected grants totalling $1.8 million. The grants will pay for the entire project.
“I always try to stay optimistic, but I was very concerned that we’d receive any grant money with the current state and federal budget problems,” Scozzafava said. “I’m pleased the project can go forward.”
There are about 30 homes in the area. The town had not formed a water district there because the state would not approve it, citing the high cost of construction for a small number of homes.
A village of Port Henry water transmission line runs through the area. Although the water is untreated at that point — and the area is outside the village limits — the village supplied those residents with water for the last 50 years.
However, after several illnesses linked to the untreated water were reported, Scozzafava said, the state Department of Health ordered the village to cease providing the untreated water. The town of Moriah then sought a hardship grant from the state.
The grants, federal money awarded through the state, were approved.
“It’s a Godsend for that area,” Scozzafava said. “I don’t know what we would have done without the grant money. There would have been 30 homes without water.”
Scozzafava credited U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, state Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward for their assistance in securing the grant money.