Sleepy Hollow Water Tank Completion Expected Next Spring
by Robert Kimmel –
By next spring, the huge 1.62 million gallon reservoir being constructed at a high point off Lake Road will likely be supplying Sleepy Hollow residents with their water needs. Dug just below the existing terrain, the tank’s floor and walls are beginning to take shape as the $6 million project moves toward completion.
The critically needed new tank will more than double the capacity of Sleepy Hollow’s present water reservoir in Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It holds 800,000 gallons, about half of the “one-day supply” required by state regulations. The old tank, built in 1926, will be kept operational, giving the village about triple its existing water storage.
Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio explained that, without the additional water supply, projects such as the just begun mixed-use development, Edge-On-Hudson, and the newly built River’s Edge condominium, which together increase the village’s population by more than 25%, could not exist.
Standing by the new tank’s construction, Giaccio pointed out that the work “…started last spring with a tremendous amount of excavation,” along with a lot of rock blasting. “Now they are at the next stage of the project which is actually construction of the tank. In a few weeks they will be pouring concrete for the floor, and the walls, and eventually they’ll put the roof on.” He said that pipeline construction from the pump station had been completed and, “just has to be connected to the tank when that is finished.”
The process requires time for the concrete to cure, Giaccio noted and that could take a couple of months before it is ready to hold water. Before the system is ready to function, it also will need to undergo safety checks by the health department, “a long process,” he said. If all goes as expected, “We expect the project to be on line in the spring.”
As it stands now the skeletal framework for the concrete walls are up, jutting a few feet higher than the surrounding excavated ground, but below the nearby tree-filled landscape. The flattened, relatively shallow in-ground floor will be filled with gravel to support a liner of concrete.
A good part of the cost of the reservoir, about a quarter of the $6 million, will be financed by a grant, which Giaccio attributed to “an excellent grant writer.” The Edge-On-Hudson developers are contributing $650,000, as part of their deal to build on the former GM site, and the River’s Edge builder is chipping in a small amount.
While the village will be borrowing a “little more than $4 million” for the project, Giaccio noted that Sleepy Hollow had secured a zero percent interest loan from New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation. That organization is part of Governor Cuomo’s administration which provides low and zero cost financing for local wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. “So the bottom line is that a good portion of the tank will be financed at no charge to the taxpayers, and the additional amount will be financed at zero percent,” Giaccio said.
Sleepy Hollow has a 99-year no-cost lease for the land on which the reservoir is being constructed, secured from the National Trust for Historical Preservation, administered by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. That initial accord in 2013 was followed by two years of discussions among the village, the Town of Mt. Pleasant and the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, before Sleepy Hollow got its final approval to begin construction on the tank. One subject involved was the establishment of meters that measured the amount of water utilized on the Rockefeller estate so, in the future, it could pay for use rather than a general fee, which is currently being paid.
With both the old tank and the new reservoir in operation, Mayor Ken Wray has explained that it will allow for one to be shut down for repairs or maintenance without disrupting water supply. In the past, the village has had to impose water restrictions when repairs were needed.