PARISH — The town and village of Parish now have the go-ahead from the state to obtain public water from the Onondaga County Water Authority.
A bill sponsored by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, and Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, to provide Parish access to municipal water was signed into law Nov. 20 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The town and village needed the state approval to move forward in the process. They already had a water district formed and were moving ahead, but Water District 1 — approved by voters Nov. 13, 2018 — hit a brick wall when the town board did not approve the bonding resolution for the project.
But now, the town is moving ahead with forming a new water district — Water District 2. The district will not have the same boundaries as the previous Water District 1 but can contain some of the same area.
The town is seeking an engineering firm to work on the new project.
Because the town and village of Parish do not have the ability to provide municipal water, residents are forced to use wells. This has presented serious issues or residents since many wells have tested positive for lead and arsenic and others have dried up during summer months.
Dry wells have caused major concerns for the fire department, which sometimes cannot find enough water in the area to fight fires.
Through this new law signed by the governor, the town has the ability to approve the Onondaga County Water Authority as its new provider. Once officially approved, the authority will begin the process of providing municipal water to Parish, beginning with about 400 homes in the newly created water district.
Water is being supplied to Parish from the water lines running down U.S. Route 11 in Hastings. Hastings will begin construction of that part of its water system in spring 2020.
“I am thrilled the people of Parish will now have access to one of the most basic of needs — fresh, clean water,” Ritchie said. “In addition to that, Parish will also have the ability to use fire hydrants to fight fires, which not only increases the safety of residents, but also lowers their homeowner insurance costs.”
“I am pleased to learn the Governor signed this bill to allow the residents of Parish access to clean water,” Barclay said. “Access to clean drinking water is a priority for any household and allowing OCWA to facilitate this for homeowners will help to improve the quality of life in Parish and will help more people to stay and raise their families here.”
Parish officials hope that once its first water district is complete, it can complete more district to bring water to every resident in the town and village.