Monday, April 4, 2022

Following the funding

water and infrastructure

For our March/April magazine, I sifted through dozens of clean water infrastructure projects in the Adirondack Park. I found around $500 million in projects either planned or under construction, a massive need to improve the critical infrastructure underlying the region and its future.

From sewers in North Creek to drinking water supplies in Essex and St. Armand, town supervisors often fight for years to get the funding to make improvements to their systems – updates that are often required under state directive. The economics of the park make these projects all the more challenging: too few residents to fund the work solely at the local level.

“You can’t get blood from a stone,” St. Armand Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller told me.

There are at least some signs of hope. The state funds that support clean water infrastructure projects are full thanks to a recent federal infrastructure bill, and the billions of dollars eyed in a state environmental bond act would likely support some of the projects.

In other water news, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s new fishing regulations took effect April 1. The new rules aimed to streamline previous regulations. They also established a new year-round fishing season for rainbow and brown trout and splake in lakes and ponds.


Photo: St. Armand Supervisor Davina Winemiller looks out at the town’s wasterwater treatment plant, which needs hundreds of thousands of dollars of upgrades due to state mandates. Photo by Mike Lynch/Adirondack Explorer

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

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