During a Newburgh City Council meeting last week, the Council voted to allocate $1 million toward the City’s lead water service line replacement program.
The funding, which is allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act, includes Covid19 state and local fiscal recovery funds, which enables state and local governments to use the funding to make necessary investments in water and sewer infrastructure.
The work consists of replacing the lead water service lines from the city’s water mains to the meters installed in the basements of each residence. The existing lead water service lines will be replaced with new copper lines. All interested residents should call the City of Newburgh Water Department at 845-565-3356 to determine if they if they are eligible to receive funding for the replacement of an existing lead water service.
In addition to conducting its Lead Service Line Replacement Program, the City of Newburgh Water Department is continuing its efforts towards the highest quality drinking water. It continues to offer free lead and copper water sampling to all residents.
“Our goal is, and always will be, to remove all of the existing lead from the City’s distribution system, but like everything else funding is always a significant hurdle,” said Wayne Vradenburgh, City of Newburgh Water Superintendent. “We’ve been waiting for funds to become available so we can continue our lead removal efforts. The City Council has really advanced the City forward with this allocation to our customers and we plan on making this money available to our customers for lead water line replacement right away.”
Mayor Torrance Harvey stated, “Our Lead Water Service Line Replacement Program is another example of our revitalization plan & controlled master plan as well. This project is protecting humans from the very horrible effects of exposure to lead in our water. Our Water Superintendent and his entire team has committed to this public safety measure and so too has our entire City Council & Executive Staff. We are working collectively to fund this to become the first lead-free city in the entire state of New York.”
Gabrielle Hill, the founding member of the Newburgh Clean Water Project, added, “Lead poisoning and exposure has been and continues to be an ongoing health concern for the residents of my beloved city. I know firsthand the dangers and medical effects of this silent killer. My infant child was hospitalized with high lead levels and for our safety, we were required to move from our home. Clean healthy water is a human right and we deserve it now. It is imperative that small municipalities like ours have a loud, strong voice in Albany and Washington DC as we seek funds to become New York State’s first lead-free city. The well-being of our children and grandchildren is dependent upon our actions today.”