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Municipal water connection to solve Department of Health concerns at fun center

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Municipal water soon will flow to Snack Shack Family Fun Center thanks to the installation of a waterline, a move that will appease the state Department of Health and enable the business to stay open.

The business at 20768 Route 12F, which uses a well to supply water to giant outdoor inflatables and its bathroom, was told by the Health Department this summer that it would be shut down if it could not acquire municipal water to meet sanitary guidelines.

The dilemma was solved this fall when the town of Watertown granted a variance allowing building owner Thomas G. Puccia to connect a 120-foot lateral waterline from the main that runs along County Route 202 to the business. The property is just outside of the town’s water district and is situated in the town of Hounsfield.

The line will be installed by the end of the month, said Floyd W. Roberts, who leases the building from Mr. Puccia and opened the fun center in December 2012.

“For some reason I’m not in the town of Watertown water district, which is right next to ours,” he said. “I’m probably the last property on the edge” of County Route 202, “so it could really be decided either way.”

Mr. Roberts said he is pleased a solution was found so he can continue to operate the business, where more than 70 children regularly visited on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer to enjoy an indoor arcade and giant outdoor inflatables, including a large splash area, minipool and slip-and-slide.

This summer, a drip hose with a filter linked to the well system was use to provide water pressure needed for the inflatables. Despite its concerns, the Health Department allowed the center to remain open during its investigation.

When news about the dilemma circulated in the local media, business at the center significantly fell in September and October, said Mr. Roberts, who also owns Palomino Motors in Watertown and Evans Mills.

“I think the public heard about the Department of Health and wondered if there was some contamination problems, and that wasn’t the case,” he said.

“Business dropped by about half, and I probably lost about $10,000 to $12,000 in revenue just because I didn’t have municipal water.”

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