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Star Lake water system is on the drafting board

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STAR LAKE — Residents will hear an update on plans to improve public water systems at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Clifton-Fine Central School auditorium.

Community leaders started taking a serious look at the system after last summer’s drought led to widespread problems.

“We have a 60-year-old water system,” Fine Supervisor Mark C. Hall said. “The tank needs to be refurbished or replaced. The big problem with the treatment system is that we’re over capacity for the three summer months. We just can’t keep up.”

Of 350 connections, 75 are seasonal. Use drops by a third in the winter, Mr. Hall said.

In addition to working on the 200,000-gallon tank, the town may look at wells instead of treating water taken from the lake. It could investigate combining with Woodhaven Water District — with about 30 users and a decent well — which is also part of Star Lake but is in the town of Clifton.

“We’re going to explore connecting the two systems,” Mr. Hall said. “There could be advantages for both.”

Fine also could expand its district with users who are not hooked up to a public system. Some have wells and some pump water from the lake.

With assistance from the Development Authority of the North Country, the plan is to complete preliminary engineering soon so the community can apply for grants to help offset the cost.

“Then we’ll see where we can fit in,” Mr. Hall said.

Residential rates are approximately $350 annually.

“Rates are going to go up because this is expensive,” Mr. Hall said. “The grants require a minimal contribution on rates.”

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