On the grounds bordering the Watertown International Airport, the future of development in the town of Houns-field will start to take shape.
That development will come in the form of the new Water District 5, which should supply additional water for town residents and provide infrastructure for growth in the vicinity of the airport.
The town broke ground on the project Monday, in a ceremony that featured several local dignitaries and business leaders.
Its a day to celebrate, said Stephen H. Lee, a town councilman who has worked on the project since 2003.
He anticipates the district could play a major role in the towns growth.
This is where you could see the majority of our development within the next 10 years, Mr. Lee said.
The $4.8 million project is financed with $2.8 million in interest-free loans to go with $2 million in grant funding, both from the state Environmental Facilities Corp. The new district serves the airport along with stretches of Foster Park Road, Route 180 and Route 3.
It opens up a lot of promise for future growth, said Matthew J. Driscoll, president and CEO of the state Environmental Facilities Corp.
The project comes after years of debate over funding and the selection of a secondary municipal water source. With the project set to get under way, town Supervisor Timothy W. Scee said the towns zoning officers have received a number of calls from developers interested in commercial and residential projects.
This has already created some excitement, Mr. Scee said.
The project to develop the water district is expected to be finished next spring.
Other projects that were announced Monday as receiving corporation support:
■ The village of Cape Vincent will take on a $9.5 million project to develop a wastewater treatment plant, which has been helped with a $2 million grant and a $5.58 million interest-free loan. The project, which includes the creation of 7,400 feet of new sewer mains, should spur the creation of 25 to 30 jobs. The town also held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to formally launch the project.
■ The town of Inlet will start a $4.1 million project to develop a wastewater treatment plant and collection system, a project that could create 20 full-time and 40 seasonal jobs. The town will receive about $1.7 million in corporation grants.
■ A $7.7 million water system in the town of LeRay will be funded through a $5.7 million interest-free loan from the corporation and a $2 million grant from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The project is expected to create 15 jobs.
■ The village of Gouverneur will receive an approximately $2 million Green Innovation Grant as part of an estimated $3.56 million improvement project, which will qualify for subsidized funding from the corporation.