May 25, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Awards $343,000 in Clean Water Infrastructure Funds to the Town of Lake George

Governor Cuomo Awards $343,000 in Clean Water Infrastructure Funds to the Town of Lake George

Wastewater Collection System will be Upgraded to Protect Waters of Lake George

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $343,000 grant has been awarded to the town of Lake George in Warren County to repair and upgrade wastewater collection infrastructure and to protect the water quality of Lake George. This funding is provided by the Governor's historic $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act and is part of the state's ongoing efforts to improve water quality statewide.

"Investing in water infrastructure helps safeguard our communities and continues to foster economic growth across New York," Governor Cuomo said. "Our $2.5 billion clean water infrastructure investment is playing a critical role in our efforts to preserve the state's natural resources, and by supporting these water system upgrades, we are ensuring New York's environment remains protected for generations to come."

The Environmental Facilities Corporation will provide funding from the Clean Water Infrastructure Act to support this project. With this funding, the town of Lake George will repair and upgrade sewer lines and other infrastructure to prevent overflows and leakage of wastewater into the environment. This is part of the effort to improve water quality of Lake George and to address closures of Million Dollar Beach.

Million Dollar Beach is now open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through June 10, and then daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting June 16. Swimming is permitted only when the water temperature is at least 65 degrees. The boat launch is open daily during the boating season (ice out to ice in).

Efforts to Preserve Lake George Waters

In 2016, elevated bacteria levels in the southern end of Lake George resulted in several closures of Million Dollar Beach. DEC initiated an extensive investigation to determine the sources of bacteria impacting the beach. This investigation continued in 2017 as a cooperative effort between state and local government and private organizations. Partners in this effort included the New York State Department of Health, village of Lake George, town of Lake George, Lake George Association, Lake Champlain/Lake George Regional Planning Board, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, Lake George Waterkeeper, and Lake George Park Commission.

Due to the consistently high bacteria levels detected near the confluence of East Brook, much of the investigation work focused on tracking down and eliminating sources of bacterial contamination within the East Brook watershed. This work included inspecting and testing sewer and stormwater infrastructure. DEC and partners conducted field surveys and collected water quality samples to isolate hotspot areas and focus on follow-up infrastructure inspections.

Findings from an updated evaluation of the sewage collection system in the town of Lake George's Caldwell Sewer District revealed defects in numerous pipe segments, manholes, and the pump station near the lake and Million Dollar Beach. The grant awarded to Lake George, along with $245,000 in Water Quality Improvement Project grants awarded in 2017, will help address these deficiencies or otherwise improve Lake George water quality.

The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 is investing $2.5 billion in clean and drinking water infrastructure projects and water quality protection across New York. As part of the Act, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation is authorized to provide funding in support of municipal water quality infrastructure programs.

DEC Commissioner and EFC Chair Basil Seggos said, "Many New York communities are eager to upgrade and improve their wastewater infrastructure, but the costs of doing so can be a barrier. Governor Cuomo recognizes these fiscal challenges and is working to resolve them by providing creative financial solutions that will strengthen and safeguard water quality infrastructure across New York State. The State's investment in the town of Lake George wastewater collection system will help safeguard Lake George and the people using Million Dollar Beach."

"Thanks to Governor Cuomo's historic investment in clean water infrastructure, communities across the State are able to complete critical projects like this one," said Sabrina M. Ty, President and CEO of the State Environmental Facilities Corporation. "This project promises a much-needed upgrade to the town of Lake George wastewater collection system, creating a more healthful environment for the community. EFC is proud to support New York State communities seeking to upgrade their water quality infrastructure."

"I enthusiastically supported the Clean Water Infrastructure Act to help small communities that lack sufficient financial resources fund important projects just like this one," said Senator Betty Little. "Investing in infrastructure that protects our lakes and rivers has so many benefits and will pay dividends for local residents and bolster our tourism-based economy for many years to come. So many visitors are attracted to our region for the beauty and quality of our waterways. This announcement by Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation is great news for Lake George."

Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "I am very pleased to see this money being awarded to the town of Lake George for their much needed wastewater project. Protecting the water quality of Lake George is vital to both the regions environmental and economic health."

Town of Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said, "The Town is very thankful to Governor Cuomo for this grant, providing our town the resources to do critical repairs to the Caldwell Sewer District at the south end of the lake. Securing this grant exemplifies the strong partnership we hold with the state to protect the waters of Lake George and the public's enjoyment of Million Dollar Beach."

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