Work Underway For Orleans' New Water Line

Work Underway For Orleans' New Water Line

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In the town of Orleans, just off of Seaway Avenue, crews are busy building a new water line.

Residents have anticipated the new system after several years of contaminated water, which all started after a salt pile was left at the state Department of Transportation site, and eroded.

The project costs up to roughly $15 million . The town secured the funds for half, but homeowners are responsible for the rest.

Joe Rotella is from Fishers Landing and says the area has suffered.

"These roughly 600 homes and businesses in the district are forced to pay to resolve a contaminated well situation of sodium chloride that they had nothing to do with polluting," he said.

As of right now, homeowners who live in the water district are expected to pay a minimum of $525 for the year, plus an addition of water usage charges.

Town Supervisor Kevin Rarick says the town is looking for more funds to lower that cost to residents.

"From anyone that'll give it to us - I don't care if it's federal or state, we'll keep yelling. But we've come a long ways from the $13-15 million price tag," he said.

The state's new welcome center in Collins Landing already has access to fresh water since it's in close proximity to where the water line starts out of Alexandria Bay.

Rotella says residents aren't pleased with that.

"We have people that are bathing and bathing their children in polluted water and they're short $7 million to bring fresh water into their homes. On the other hand, we can turn around and build a tourism center for $20 million with public taxpayer money," he said.

We tried reaching out to Governor Cuomo's office and no one was available for comment.

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