Public vote nixes Cape Vincent water district

Cape Vincent water grant voted down

CAPE VINCENT, N.Y. (WWNY) - A multi-million-dollar grant given to the town of Cape Vincent will not be used -- for now.

There are six water districts in the town of Cape Vincent that have access to public water, but one area does not.

Homeowners near Mud Bay rely on private or shore wells. 

“We pump from the lake for the bathroom, washing the dishes, and showering,” seasonal homeowner Fred Lang said.

The town of Cape Vincent has access to federal grant money -- over $7 million -- to create Water District 7. That would give homeowners in that area public access to water, which would improve water quality, increase well access, and finance water main improvements.

But not everyone in that area wants that water district. Lang signed a petition to get the establishment of the water district to public vote.

The result: 99 to 80 against.

Town Supervisor Edward Bender says he was surprised by the outcome.

“You never know why people vote something down,” Bender said. “Some people are seasonal people, and it might be too expensive for them.”

Lang says that’s exactly why he opposed it. Even with the grant money, Bender says people like Lang would have to pay $200 a month for water, and he only spends his summers there.

“We all like water, I don’t think anyone is against the water,” Lang said. “The problem that a lot of the seasonal people had is that we only get to use the water two to three months out of the year, but we’re paying year-round,” Lang said.

For now, the project will not go on. Bender says the money granted was specifically to fund the creation of Water District 7.

He says the town has the money for another two years and they plan to put the vote through again in the future, hoping it will go unopposed.

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