STANHOPE – More than 80 residents and business owners converged on Stanhope’s Borough Hall on Tuesday night Oct. 22, for a special open house about improvements to the municipality’s water system.
Engineers for the project from Lee T. Purcell Associates were on hand to answer questions, while members of Stanhope’s Borough Council, and Administrator Brian McNeilly, also presided over the event. McNeilly and council members intermingled with the attendees, responding to individual inquiries.
Upgrades are necessary to rectify the borough’s water system, which is aging, with some piping dating back to the early 1900s (the borough was incorporated in 1904). Additionally, the sewer system construction began in the 1960s and continued into the early 1970s.
As it currently stands, four wells supply the water, there are two tanks at 250,000 gallons that store it, as well as one at 50,000. There are two pressure zones involved, with 1,900 connections (varying between four, six and eight inch diameter pipelines, valves, and appurtenances).
There are 19 varying improvements required, including: replacement of the 50,000 storage tank with a 250,000 gallon tank, new water main loops in several areas, and numerous upgrades.
The project is estimated to top $4.5 million, and for the first stage, the price tag is calculated at $2.1 million of that, which the borough can fund with the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT). The NJEIT Loan is a 75 percent, zero interest loan, with a 25 percent Bond Market Rate Loan. The loans can be paid back over a 20-year period, beginning in 2015, with the payment at $116,000 annually.
The project will be broken into several stages, and is anticipated to begin in the spring.
Stage one projects are:
- Rehabilitation of the 50,000 gallon elevated water storage tank
- Replacement of the 6-inch cast iron main to the section of town in the vicinity of Lenape Valley High School. The new 12-inch ductile iron water main will connect to the water storage tank in that vicinity. There will be 2,700 feet of 12-inch main and valves replaced.
- In the Brooklyn Road area from Sparta Road to Canfield Street, the 6-inch cast iron main will be replaced with 8-inch ductile iron main.
- In “The Point” area of Stanhope (Lloyd, Lawrence and Reeve Avenues), 4-inch cast iron pipes will be replaced with 8-inch water mains, for 3,800 feet of new main, valves, and connections, to replace pipes that are undersized per NJDEP regulations.
- The transmission main in Mount Olive Township, which are part of the water distribution system in Stanhope, will be replaced, as it crosses under the Musconetcong River, and a portion of the Morris Canal. This is a sensitive area with the canal and if the line was to break, it could not be easily repaired. In turn, this main will be abandoned, with a new 2,500 foot 8-inch transmission main and valves installed adjacent to Continental Drive and Waterloo Road.
- Another area of concern is by the High Point Condominiums, where a low pressure zone exists from the 12-inch main by Dell Road. An alternate connection will be created to the tower, with a new 400-foot length, 8-inch ductile iron water main created along a new easement on Dell Road.
“There are a number of stages,” mayor Rosemarie Maio told NJ Inside Scene, “this is the beginning.”
Maio said the refurbishment of the water tank is one of the first steps, and that Stanhope’s DPW will also work on that part of the project, as well as other smaller projects.
“These were the key critical areas that needed attention,” Maio continued. “As we go forward, we’ll continue to update the residents.”
Maio said all discussions about the water system have been public — at borough council meetings, for example, and of course, at events such as the open house.
The area by Lenape Valley High School will be handled while the students are on summer break.
“We don’t want to impact the kids that come in by bus,” Maio said.
No shutoffs or outages are anticipated during the project, she also said, and the new system will create redundancies, should issues occur with any portion of the new water system.
“We’re very positive about it [the project],” said councilwoman Pat Zdichocki. “It’s been a long time coming. The time it should be done will be the least amount of bother to the residents.”
Councilman James Benson said that taxes will stay even (Stanhope taxes tend to stay fairly flat).
“We had some old debt fall off about a year ago,” said Benson.
“We were very cautious looking at all the findings, costs and payback, without hurting anyone’s pocketbook,” Maio said.
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