ROSENDALE, N.Y. — Meter replacements for the High Falls Water District will be done by BigJosh LLC under a contract for $168,000 that covers about 200 connections and an additional $76,000 to update 40 valve boxes.
The contract was approved by the Rosendale and Marbletown town boards last week in separate meetings.
In December, officials approved a $207,000 contract with EZ Does It Plumbing and Heating of Kingston, but said last week they were unable to determine when the project would begin.
“It’s good because we think we have somebody who’s going to replace the water meters after … having a contract a couple of months ago and not hearing from that contractor when we’ve been ready for the replacement program to start,” Marbletown Supervisor Richard Parete said.
Officials had sought bids for the project last year but reported that there were initially no bids submitted until the second round in December, with Rosedale Supervisor Jeanne Walsh saying EZ Does It Plumbing and Heating’s proposal was accepted. There was also a second bid for $800,000, she added.
The two towns will split the cost proportionate to the 40 users in Rosendale and the 162 users in Marbletown.
Updates to the metering system were part of recommendations in a 2015 state Comptroller’s Office report that found 40% of the water usage for the system could not be traced to a connection. The audit found that 1.1 million gallons of water, which was supplied through a contract with New York City, had been either lost through faulty equipment or simply not recorded.
The state report also found problems with the district’s procedures for reviewing unpaid bills, improving the way data is put into the billing system, and reviewing any meters that appeared to have inaccurate readings.
While the meters were purchased about two years ago, the cost was prohibitive until the most recent bids were sought.
The district was established in 2007 after contamination was found 13 years earlier in private wells from a Mohonk Road property that was a long-time manufacturing site. Chemicals in the groundwater were found to be related to solvents in the production of cash register parts, computer frames, card punch machines, and store display fixtures.
State officials reported last year that all remediation efforts had been put in place at the contamination site, which has been designated as a Class 4 Superfund location. Efforts to install all the equipment needed had begun in 1999 with a price tag of $14.87 million and included monitoring private wells a mile from the site.