Water Exploration Fact Sheet

For Immediate Release

November 17, 2004

Water Options for Clark Greylock project that were explored by the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute to provide water to Clark project, Mount Greylock Regional High School, and Sweetbrook and Sweetwood with expansion Summer 2003 - Fall 2004.

Note: 60 gpm (gallons per minute) needed to provide potable water (not including additional fire suppression) to all existing facilities (MGRHS, Sweetwood, Sweetbrook) and proposed projects (Clark Greylock, Sweetwood expansion).

Representatives from the Clark first met with MGRHS School Committee and obtains license to drill test wells on High School property in spring 2003.

Wells on MGHRS land - Summer 2003
2 wells on the high school property were tested; one yielded 5 gpm and the other 10-15 gpm.

Well on Phelps Knoll - Fall 2003
1 well tested at 5gpm. This well would have required zone 1 well field on the high school's sports practice field

Indian Spring - Fall 2003
The Clark made contact with owners of Indian Spring to assess reliability of source. Because of beaver dams and other issues the quality of water was questionable for this usage.  It is also unlikely that DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) would approve as public water source.

Waubeeka Springs - Fall 2003
Initial talks were held with representatives of the Waubeeka Springs Water Association in late fall 2003 to determine line capacity, condition, etc.  These talks were halted when the owner of the spring, Pamela Weatherbee, sent a letter to the Association stating that she felt that "the proposed project would present a potential overload on the system and it was not in keeping with the uses for which she purchased and preserved the property." In public comments, Ms. Weatherbee had also expressed an unwillingness to provide water to the Clark Greylock project. Construction estimates for extending the line from the intersection of Routes 43 and 7, with the necessary pump station, were $1.5 million.*

Cricket Creek Farm - late 2003 - spring/summer 2004
In late 2003 Cricket Creek Farm (CCF) owner, Dick Sabot, approached the Clark to offer to serve as water source for the project.  He stated that CCF desired to use its water sources as income stream for the farm.  CCF required that the 90-acre parcel on Sloan Road be appraised for "best and highest use" in order to determine the purchase price.  This "best and highest" use was residential subdivision for single-family home lots.  A conceptual plan for subdividing the site into 9 lots was created in order to obtain an appraised value in summer 2004.

The Clark and CCF entered into negotiations on two options: a land purchase agreement and a lease. These options assumed that sufficient water was found. Hydrologists and other experts were consulted to determine the most likely drilling location on the Sloan Road parcel-the parcel closest to Phelps Knoll.

1. Land Purchase Option:
28.5 acres would be needed for Zone 1 Well Field.  The purchase price for land located along Sloan Road was $1,185,000. In addition, costs to bring water from Sloan Road site to Phelps Knoll was estimated at $1.6 million. This brought the total estimated costs (for land purchase and construction) for $2,785,000.*

2. Lease for Water Usage option:
The costs to lease water from Cricket Creek farms would be $60,000 per year based on drawing 60,000 gpd (gallons per day), over a 30-year lease.*

Sufficient water was not found on the Sloan Road site. A purchase price for the Oblong Road site, also owned by Cricket Creek Farm, was not agreed upon. The additional construction costs of bringing the water from that more distant site were estimated to add $300,000 to the overall costs.


*This sum does not include the additional costs for a storage tank or other necessary projects to provide fire suppression to MGRHS. Based on a similar project at Monument Mountain high school, cost for a water storage tank has been estimated at $750,000.

 

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