At their most recent meeting, New Paltz’s town board members authorized bonds up to $9.231 million for water district 5 on Plains Road. It’s expected that New York City will ultimately foot the bill for this alternative water-supply system to allow for periodic shutdowns of the Catskill Aqueduct.
Building of water district 5 has been clogged up in the courts for some years by several lawsuits initiated by a handful of neighbors. The most recent of these — questioning the legitimacy of the state water withdrawal permit — is presently on appeal, and under pandemic conditions it’s uncertain when it will be decided. The appeal was filed in January, and town supervisor Neil Bettez said that the bond authorization was passed in anticipation of that final barrier to construction being removed at some point in the future.