Work on water line important to Fort Drum & Watertown

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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TOWN OF PAMELIA, New York (WWNY) - A $13 million project to replace 13,000 feet of pipes to carry water to Fort Drum is important not only to the Army post but also to the city of Watertown.

If you drive along Patterson Road in the town of Pamelia, you’ll see a long line of dirt. It’s what’s underneath the dirt that’s of high importance.

“We had to have a bypass line installed and that has been going on for the past month or so,” said Laurie Marr, director of public affairs at the Development Authority of the North Country.

It’s a temporary water line to make sure residents in this area won’t lose water when the Development Authority of the North Country begins its rehab of the Army water line. That line provides Fort Drum with its drinking water.

A $13 million project, DANC has borrowed a portion of the money with hopes of finding federal funding.

“We applied for $6 million towards the project through Congresswoman Claudia Tenney’s community project funding opportunity,” said Marr.

She says that DANC has already started the work because an assessment of the old pipes found that they were deteriorating which meant fixes needed to happen as soon as possible

The project is miles outside of Watertown city limits, but an important one to Watertown because the water that goes through the pipes to Fort Drum is sold by the city, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue to Watertown.

City Manager Ken Mix is happy to hear upgrades are being done.

“It’s important for anybody who owns infrastructure to keep it in good repair,” he said.

Marr says if they can’t secure federal funding, DANC will have to finance the rest.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.