GOSHEN, N.Y., June 23 -- Orange County Executive issued the following news release:
The Orange County Legislature's Physical Services Committee today voted unanimously to approve a $350,000 bond for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to connect several homes in the Town of Goshen to a nearby waterline. The clean water, subject to an agreement with the Village of Goshen, will be capable of being delivered to families on Police Drive in Goshen who have long indicated that the county and town caused traces of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, to be added to their water supply at one time or another. MTBE is used in more than 80 percent of oxygenated fuels to boost octane while reducing emissions. Its use has been banned in New York since 2004 and replaced by ethanol.
The $350,000 bond is a supplemental appropriation to DPW's 2014 budget and will pay to connect the Police Drive homes to a waterline in the Village of Goshen that is supplied by a nearby reservoir. The project can get underway following a vote by the full Legislature at its next scheduled meeting on July 2 and after a written agreement is entered into with the Village of Goshen and the involved families.
The families are litigating against the county and town claiming it damaged their water supply. The media have reported extensively on those claims for more than eight years.
"I met with these families in 2012 and 2013. They are afraid to drink their water, and that is a nightmare for any family. I want to thank Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey and his team for meeting with my office and their conceptual support for the project before we advanced this resolution. We will be sending Goshen a formal inter-municipal agreement and asking for their support," said County Executive Steve Neuhaus.
"Once we review and approve the draft agreement we will be able to move this project forward. The Village of Goshen is looking forward to working with County Executive Neuhaus and Orange County to provide relief to these families who desperately need it," said Village of Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey.
Legislator Katie Bonelli, Chairwoman of the Physical Services Committee, said, "This is an important first step in doing the right thing. I am hopeful that the families involved take advantage of this offer by the county. At the same time, the project will bring a public water supply to developable areas, which can encourage economic development - something the Town of Goshen, which is largely tax exempt, could use assistance with."
"Action on this matter has been overdue. I am pleased that the Physical Services Committee has made significant progress on this issue and look forward to a complete resolution," said Neuhaus.
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