Santabarbara to advocate for state funding for city water tank repairs

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara met with Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa, Engineer Rich Miller, and Chief Plant Operator Randy Gardinier on Wednesday in order to gather information which will help him advocate for New York State funding for repairs on two of the City of Amsterdam’s three water storage tanks. Both tanks hold 4 million gallons of water. One is located behind Tecler School, and the other near Locust Avenue. Both tanks are in need of repairs according to a report completed last year by McDonald Engineering.

Santabarbara said that he hopes the repairs will be eligible for funding under the state’s $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.

“$1 billion of that is for clean and drinking water infrastructure projects and water quality protection,” said Santabarbara. “$225 million of that was just released. That’s money we hope to access for projects like this.”

“I’m going to go back to the capitol, through the governor’s office and simply advocate for this funding and help the City of Amsterdam make these repairs. It is something that is critical, it’s important, so that’s why I took the time to take a tour here with the mayor and technical staff,” said Santabarbara.

The Common Council approved borrowing $5.5 million in June to fund water system related projects, including $400,000 for exterior repairs to the Locust Avenue tank and $2.5 million for interior and exterior refurbishment of the Tecler School tank. According to the borrowing resolution, city officials would also look for state grants to help offset the costs.

According to the engineering report, the interior of the Tecler School tank is coated with a lead-based paint and will require special precautions when being removed. According to Gardinier, the tank will be isolated from the rest of the water system during the repairs to avoid contamination. He also said that past water testing has not shown any “systematic” lead contamination in the city’s water system.

The city’s third water storage tank is located near Brookside Avenue, and is not in need of repairs at this time.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.