by Robert Kimmel –
Sleepy Hollow’s huge new water reservoir is operational, opening the way for growth within the village, and ending deficiencies the village faced prior to its construction. The underground tank holding 1.6 million gallons of water is “critical” for further development in the village as Mayor Ken Wray described it during the ribbon-cutting inaugural for the structure last month.
“Without this new reservoir, we couldn’t approve a single new residence,” Wray explained. The tank’s added water capacity is vital for the current construction of the Edge-on-Hudson waterfront development, which will include 1,177 residential structures, as well as retail and office space.
The $6 million reservoir also brings the village into compliance with New York State regulations that call minimally for a full day’s supply of water in reserve for a municipality. The village’s old reservoir in Rockefeller State Park Preserve, which will remain in operation, contains only 800,000 gallons, about half the storage requirement.
The ribbon-cutting brought together an array of dignitaries, including village and state officials, business and institutional leaders. The tank is off Lake Road in Pocantico Hills, on National Trust for Historic Preservation land, which is administered by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It is adjacent to the Rockefeller Estate. Wray lauded both organizations for approving the tank’s location.
“We are pleased to be part of it,” said Tom Mayes, Vice President and Senior Counsel of the National Trust, adding, “Without the full recommendation of the Rockefeller Brothers fund, we might not have been able to make this property available.”
The higher land on which the tank is built augments the flow of water piped down into the village. Constructed underground in a tree encircled area, with a paved walkway and low rock wall surrounding it, the tank’s disruption of the landscape is quite limited.
Sleepy Hollow was able to finance the project mostly with the help of a state grant and low interest loans facilitated by the state, along with some assistance from developers.
“One of the things we do is to make sure we appropriate money that goes back to our communities,” State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti said. “We share with you the concerns you have for clean, drinkable water. Congratulations on what seems to be a very cooperative venture.”
As part of its arrangement with Sleepy Hollow, the developers of Edge-on-Hudson, paid the village $650,000 toward the construction of the water tank. Jonathan Stein, one of the partners in Lighthouse Landing, Ltd., the developer, noted that “It could not have happened” without the new reservoir. “We were pleased to work with the village to do whatever we could,” to assist the project.
Daniel Blum, President and CEO of Phelps Hospital, saw the new reservoir as “essential” for the medical facility, as he noted, “We are constantly modernizing and trying to extend our services.” Blum stressed, “Water is part of a healthy life style. People are drinking a lot of sugary drinks, and frankly that leads to medical issues and illnesses…so we are for a bigger, better reservoir and greater consumption of water.”
A bountiful supply of good water is also a benefit for tourism in Sleepy Hollow, as Waddell Stillman, President of Historic Hudson Valley sees it. Noting that 100,000 visitors annually come to Philipsburg Manor and other local tourist sites, including the nearby Kykuit Mansion, the Rockfeller estate. Stillman said, “They all will be drinking water from this tank, so we are excited about that.”
As Wray summed it up, “This new 1.6-million gallon water storage facility ensures a safe, reliable supply of water for village residents and property owners for decades to come.”