Orleans Water Project Takes Another Step Forward

Orleans Water Project Takes Another Step Forward

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The town of Orleans is moving forward on a water line project that residents there hope will solve a problem with salt contamination.

The Orleans town board approved three bids Thursday night for general construction, electricity, and a water storage tank totaling $12.4 million.

That puts the total project cost at $15.4 million, about $2 million more than the town had budgeted. 

But because the town has secured another grant, estimated user fees will not go up.

For years, town residents complained that their water wells were contaminated with road salt from a nearby state Department of Transportation barn. 

They claim the salty water damages pipes and appliances in their homes. Residents have also had to use spring water to wash with and drink. 

A study last year concluded 90 percent of Orleans residents' water tested positive for corrosive water. 

Town Supervisor Kevin Rarick says he's looking forward to getting the project moving.

"It'll be much better when we have pipes in the ground and everybody's got water," he said. "It's been a long time coming and we're still fighting."

The town has received a number of state grants for the projects and the bids will need approval from the granting agencies, which could take about two months.   

Planning will begin after that, followed by shovels in the ground.

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