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Frustrated Pleasantville Awards Water Contract

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – A $327,700 contract to build a chlorine booster station on Ridgeview Drive has been awarded to Foremost Development by the Pleasantville Board of Trustees.

A booster automatically maintains chlorine levels in the village's water, reducing the possibility of contamination. The project was mandated by the New York State Department of Health.

“It’s been a source of frustration because it’s solving a problem we don’t really have,” said Mayor Peter Scherer. “We do need to add chlorine to the water system periodically, but have done so with a very carefully monitored manual system. But we’re now required to do it in an automatic fashion.”

According to Village Administrator Patti Dwyer, the project’s cost will be covered by two bond issues. The village sold bonds worth $305,000 for the project more than a year ago, and has already spent a portion on engineering work. Pleasantville also sold  bonds to fix a water main on Greenmeadow Road, and Dwyer said money left over from that project can be used to help pay for the booster station.

When bonds for the project were sold, the village anticipated construction to cost about $250,000, which turned out to be $57,000 below the lowest bid. The reason given by the project’s engineer was the rising cost of instrumentation, steel and labor.

Trustee Jonathan Cunningham suggested redoing the engineering work for the project  to comply with the bare minimum of the health department’s mandate in hopes of lowering construction costs.

In a letter sent to the trustees, however, the project’s engineers said additional trimming of the design and re-bidding would not result in a significant cost reduction and would actually result in additional operations cost to the village in the long-term. Scherer said the village has already scaled the project back twice before awarding the bid Tuesday night.

“I went to the Department of Health, and I argued this to completely deaf ears, so it doesn’t matter," Cunningham said. "They’re forcing us to do this. You argue the facts with them, they look at you and say, ‘Yep, we understand that. Get your plant in place.’ ”

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