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Public Hearing Set for Airport Campus Water District Extension

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A public hearing will be held next month by the North Castle Town Board on the extension of a town water district to accommodate a proposed 175-unit residential project at the former MBIA property in Armonk.

At its last meeting, the board announced a Feb. 14 hearing on extending town Water District #8 for the Airport Campus application, which is a requirement under the findings statement approved last summer to bring municipal water to the site and nearby properties.

Representatives for the project, located at 113 King St., have proposed building 125 attached townhomes and repurposing one of the existing office buildings to house 50 age-restricted rental units.

Attorney Chris Fisher, representing Airport Campus, explained that the water will be supplied by Westchester Joint Waterworks. The main will be extended from New King Street near Westchester County Airport, up King Street in the state right of way, over I-684 and to the site. The developer will also be building a water storage tank and pump station.

An important consideration for town officials is whether they want to try and coordinate with the developer an extension of town Water District #4 into the same area to provide that district with additional water or a backup supply during periods of high demand. North Castle’s Water District #4 serves downtown Armonk, IBM, Business Park Drive, Whippoorwill Hill and Whippoorwill Ridge.

“So our next step is go to a public hearing, see if anybody has comments on this, but the other piece is, it’s a bit of a key for the town if you decide to extend Water District 4 back the other way and pull water into the hamlet,” Fisher said.

Sal Misiti, the town’s director of water and sewer, said the Town Board approved having the consultant design the town’s extension in the fall and he is awaiting that to be returned. It is expected in the near future. The report from the town’s consultant should provide some rough estimates for how much the extension of Water District #4 will cost.

Having access to an additional source would be important during peak demand, such as during the summer and if there was to be a serious fire where a high volume of water is needed, Misiti said.

“The good thing is the district really has no debt, Water District 4 has no debt, so it would be a huge advantage for the district to have this other source and spread across this entire district the cost of making these improvements,” he said.

There are about 500 customers in Water District #4.

In order to move forward with the proposed Airport Campus extension of Water District #8, the town will need to receive a first draft of a water contribution agreement from the developer, said Town Attorney Roland Baroni.

“This is going to be a little bit of a complicated negotiation,” Baroni said. “But you certainly can adopt the order calling for a public hearing…and you may have to keep it open if we’re not in a position to recommend the water contribution agreement at that point.”

Baroni also wants the town to receive the cost estimates from its consultant as soon as possible to see if the municipal expense for Water District #4 is workable.

In addition to having the extension of the water district approved, Airport Campus must receive site plan approval from the Planning Board.

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