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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Majority in favor of Norfolk water district so far

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NORFOLK -The majority of residents completing a poll for a proposed water district in the town of Norfolk are in favor of its establishment.

Town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice gave a brief update on the recently distributed survey, noting that numbers currently indicate an approval rating of approximately three to one.

“As of right now the survey that I sent out for the possibility of a water district on Cook Street - as of today we have 34 yeses and 10 nos - to establish a water district. Obviously at some point we have to stop taking (the votes) and decide what we’re going to do next,” he said. “I’ve been talking with (C2AE engineer) Tim Burley. He helped me with the survey and we’ve been getting a lot of comments and it appears to be about a three to one interest in maybe moving to the next step and seeing how much it will cost.”

The proposed district would be on Cook Street, Hidy Avenue and Hough Road.

The town supervisor added that there are 95 total properties in the potential district and there have been 47 responses to the survey.

“I’ve got 44 back. One the guy had no opinion because he had a vacant lot and we didn’t explain it well enough and we had two bad addresses,” Mr. Pernice said. “The village of Massena is interested. They have the capacity to do it. ... I met with (Massena Mayor James F. Hidy) early on in the process just to see if it was a possibility (to combine the districts) but it would just be a Norfolk water district. We buy water from Massena with the intermunicipal agreement.”

The potential of a water district stems from a petition started by area resident Wayne Henry. Mr. Henry approached Mr. Pernice with the petition last year, including 27 different signatures on the document.

Councilman Robert J. Harvey said he was supportive of the idea of a water district but was skeptical about the decision making process.

“If you get 10 nos - I’m just saying - how do you balance that? How do you move ahead on something like that?” he asked.

“I say if it’s 50-50 that’s the deal breaker. We’re running three votes to one in favor of it,” Mr. Pernice responded.

“But you still have a lot to hear from,” Mr. Harvey countered.

“Potentially yeah but the may not send them back,” the town supervisor responded.

Mr. Pernice pointed out that with a recent similar project on West Hatfield Street only 30 percent of the residents expressed an opinion on the proposed project.

“(The district) is definitely going to increase the property value for themselves,” Mr. Harvey argued.

“There’s people down there that can’t drink the well water because of the iron and sulfur and this will help with that,” Mr. Pernice said.

Mr. Pernice added that once a decision is made on whether or not to proceed with the district, the next steps would include compiling the surveys and applying for funding. A public hearing would follow so that residents would have their say on the subject matter.

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