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Aqua Officially Pulls Water Tower Application

Residents, politicians and water company representatives came together to make the public announcement on Monday.

After weeks of meetings, letters and pleas from local residents and politicians alike, Aqua New York officially withdrew its application for a water tower in Wantagh on Monday morning.

The proposed water tower was to be built on Aqua’s property located on DeMott Avenue, which is next to the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway. Two accompanying buildings that would have housed an electrical/chemical and water well were also withdrawn during the announcement. Aqua had been scheduled for a public hearing on Aug. 10 in front of the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).

“Today we’re here because a local water company listened to its neighbors and responded to their concerns,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray during the public announcement at the DeMott Avenue facility. “In short, we are here to announce that plans for a 150-foot water tower at this site are being washed away.”

“Aqua has indicated…that they are focused on exploring alternatives to a tower in meeting the water pressure needs of this neighborhood and for its residents,” Murray added.

Supervisor Murray, Councilwoman Angie Cullen,R-Freeport, Nassau County Legislator Dennis Dunne, R-Levitown, and New York State Senator Charles Fuschillo,R-Merrick in addition to U.S Senator Chuck Schumer,D-NY, all played a central role in the talks with Aqua about the tower. Murray and Cullen addressed residents’ concerns in a letter to the water company on June 17, which requested a community meeting.

Aqua president Matt Snyder said that he listened to residents during the July 12 community meeting on the water tower and that he learned that local residents were feeling a “little piled on with a couple of the projects.”

“We put a lot of man-hours into finding an alternative plan,” Legis. Dunne said. “We are going to continue to do that until we find something that is reasonable and suitable to the residents of this community. The tower is certainly not suitable. I think [Aqua] finally heard loud and clear.”

Dunne said that he will be joining Aqua as they search for a location for a new project to address the water pressure. Once that location is found, he said, they will be holding another community meeting.

“This was a big one to win. The town was responsive – I have to say they took the ball and they listened to the community,” said Fred Parola, attorney for the Wantagh/Seaford Homeowners Association.

Seaford resident Marjorie Klein, along with her husband Russell, spearheaded a petition drive with fellow residents who were against the project. They, and other volunteers, were able to gather 708 signatures in five days.

“We are just thrilled that Aqua heard the people,” Klein said. “Between our local government and Aqua we will come up with a better solution. I feel that an eyesore isn’t worth the price we were going to pay for the good water pressure.” 

Aqua is in a pending sale of its New York subsidiary to Long Island America Water, according to the Town of Hempstead. The two will be working together to find an alternative plan that addresses water pressure issues within the area.

Lou August 09, 2011 at 12:13 AM
LOL I was thinking the same thing
Mac August 09, 2011 at 01:59 AM
This is typical Photo-Op Kate Murray. Would you expect any less.
Hollingsworth August 09, 2011 at 08:40 AM
It's more than just a photo op. It's a campaign ploy to give Angie Cullin and Kate Murray credit for something they had nothing to do with. They weren't even at Aqua's meeting at the Wantagh High School that was hosted by the Wantagh civics. This was nothing more than the Town of Hempstead trying to downplay the role that Cullin's opponent, Claudia Borecky, had in organizing the community to write letters opposing this water tower and downplaying the Town's responsibility to provide its residents with affordable public water.
Generals Fan August 09, 2011 at 06:12 PM
This was never about the water tower. This was always about the'big distraction', the 150' distraction. To keep us looking at the right hand (the tower) while the left hand(Aqua) was looking at a sale to American Water. The residents will pay for this 'upgrade' at the DeMott Ave. location 100% as stated by the Aqua rep at the Wantagh High School meeting. This will only get worse when and if American Water takes over. To all Aqua Water customers....this was always about higher water prices. You will pay whether it is a water tower or a larger pump. We need affordable public water, Kate! SAY NO TO THIS SALE TO AMERICAN WATER AND YES TO PUBLIC WATER!
Claudia Borecky August 10, 2011 at 03:31 AM
The water authority was established over 1-1/2 years ago to study the feasbility of a public takeover. They've done nothing. We, the people, must start proceedings to take control of our own water. We cannot afford Aqua's prices anymore. Please sign Leg. Denenberg and my online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fundthefeasibilitystudy/ and urge Kate Murray and Angie Cullin to fund the feasibility study so that we can have water at a fraction of the cost of what we pay now and stop the proposed sale of Aqua Water to an even bigger corporate conglomerate.

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