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Village of Adams tells town it may have found new water source

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ADAMS — The Town Council postponed its search for water Thursday night after being informed by the village’s engineer that it had discovered a potential new source on village property.

Dustin J. Clark, an engineer from Barton & Loguidice, Syracuse, told the council that the village had found a deep pocket of water late last year by drilling into fractured rock on land on which it already has wells.

“Any time you can find water, it’s key,” he said after the presentation. “It’s relieving to have something to report that’s positive.”

Mr. Clark said it could take a few weeks to analyze the quality of the water, and it could be months before it could be determined how much water the well can produce.

He added that drilling into a similar rock area at another village well site led to an additional lead. Mr. Clark said the discovery was a sign that the village had “turned the corner” in its search.

Drilling into bedrock is less common in New York than in other states and can create additional costs for filtering compared with drilling into gravel.

Pointing out the level of funding and legal work that could become necessary for pursuing its own water source, town Supervisor David W. Kellogg said Thursday that he wanted to postpone any additional decision making until the full council was present. Robert J. Storms was away on business Thursday night, while George E. Moulton is out of the area until about April.

Mr. Kellogg said the search for a new water source could be called off depending on the final results of the village’s water analysis.

“It does begin to look crazy with both of us spending the money,” he said. “It sure would be fun to find, though.”

The village has searched for water for more than a year, concealing most of the details of its search as it set up deals with private landowners. The lack of clarity on the village’s progress had led to some frustration from the town.

“I don’t think they’re enemies, but when you’re kept in the dark, it feels like enemies,” Town Councilman Barry L. Waite said.

Village Mayor Patricia C. Sweetland, who attended the meeting with members of the village Board of Trustees, said she hoped the village and town could cooperate on making improvements based on the new findings, but said no plans had been set.

The town and village are considering creating a joint water committee to discuss plans involving the new water discovery.

The two municipalities have sought additional water supply after facing shortages in each of the last four years and water emergencies in 2009 and 2010. The town also has looked for an increased supply in order to expand its Adams Center Water District, which uses village water.

The town formally started its own water search in December, consulting with Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown.

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