Ellisburg water main leaks send students home, prompt state of emergency

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 4:13 PM EDT
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TOWN OF ELLISBURG, New York (WWNY) - A broken water main line in Ellisburg sent students from Belleville Henderson Central School home early on two occasions.

“We have a section of line on our Belleville district, which feeds the Belleville district, which has sprung leaks numerous times in the last year and a half,” said Ellisburg Town Supervisor Doug Shelmidine.

The section sits on State Route 289 near the County Route 85 intersection. The town of Ellisburg board met last Friday to figure out a fix. The leaks are a burden for both businesses and Belleville Henderson Central School.

“We’ve had three leaks in the last month, two of which have caused them to close the Belleville Henderson School early,” said Shelmidine.

“On both occasions, we did close about an hour early. Students were able to eat lunch before going home,” said Scott Storey building principal, Belleville Henderson Central School.

Along with the school day being shortened, the disruptions affected after-school activities as well.

“Our 4H after-school program was also canceled. We did hold our athletic contests, however, we did cancel any practices that were taking place,” said Storey.

Shelmidine says although there is running water and there’s no direct concern for citizens, the town board has declared a state of emergency.

“Calling for a state of emergency we can immediately engage in hiring a contractor to get that replaced without having to go through a bid process,” he said.

Originally crews were going to tackle the water line next summer, but because it is springing too many leaks, Shelmidine says that time table is now moved up and he’s hoping the work will get done before winter.