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North Castle officials are considering a plan to bring a water supply to Lombardi Park in Armonk, which could potentially bring municipal water to homes along several nearby streets.
The latest discussion would bring at least an eight-inch main up School Street that would allow the town to install water fountains and a bathroom at the park. But an added advantage would enable an undetermined number of homeowners along School Street, Anthony Court and Bytam Ridge Road to hook up for to public water in the future as well.
Next week, the board is tentatively scheduled to approve a resolution that would expand Water District #4, which includes downtown Armonk and some nearby areas, and Lombardi Park. Town Attorney Roland Baroni said that if the board was to approve the engineering plans, it would also need to schedule a hearing to include residents along the streets that would have access to the extended district.
If the district was extended, homeowners would not be obligated to go to the expense to connect their homes, but they or future owners would have that option.
“This is a big step, but actually the benefits outweigh the additional cost,” said Town Supervisor Joseph Rende.
Initially, an estimate of $461,000 was proposed that would have brought water to the park. However, there was the possibility for difficulty navigating through rights of way.
While cost estimates weren’t available for expanding the district to include the additional streets at the board’s last meeting, the project would cost significantly more.
However, Rende said the town still has $1.2 million of unspent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money from the federal government from the pandemic. Those funds must be committed to an authorized infrastructure project by the end of this year and spent by sometime in 2026 or North Castle would forfeit the money.
Currently, the Water District #4 has no debt on the books, said Director of Water & Sewer Sal Misiti.
Misiti said there are additional advantages for the town to expand the district beyond Lombardi Park.
“I think it’s clear, it opens up the ability to extend in the future, and not only that, it also enhances fire protection in that area, particularly on the corner of Cox Avenue and further up,” Misiti said. “So we would get three additional hydrants in the area that will have public water.”
There would also be no cost for the construction to residents, Baroni said.
“If the town is absorbing the costs, then I can’t imagine anybody objecting to the possibility of hooking up to the district when they need the water and they choose to have the water,” he said.
The town is currently drawing up plans to extend Water District #4 up King Street to tap into the water that the developer of the proposed Airport Campus residential project, plans to bring from the Westchester Joint Water Works to bring municipal water to that site, Misiti said. That connection with Water District #4 should alleviate any concerns regarding whether the supply would be overburdened.
Water District #1 Upgrade
In another water-related issue, the town has drafted a Request for Proposal for improvements to Water District #1, which serves the hamlet of North White Plains.
The entire system, which is nearly 100 years old, needs to be upgraded, Misiti said. It has been plagued with water main breaks and outages in service.
While the work is essential, it will cause headaches when the project is underway.
“It’s going to be unique in North White Plains,” Misiti said. “We’re going to have a significant portion of this that’s going to have to focus on public relations and how the public is going to be part of this process, and it’s going to be a huge inconvenience, but it’s going to be a great benefit when it’s done.”
Councilwoman Barbara DiGiacinto said she has been pressing for the town to move ahead with the project because it’s desperately needed. There have been recurring incidents of brown water in addition to the outages caused by breaks. Fire safety would also be enhanced in the hamlet, she said.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/