Shokan property owners overwhelmingly approved a municipal sewer district in a September 24 vote of 244-45, though it will still be years before work commences.“ There are a large number of property easements that need to be obtained to proceed with the project. There are well over 100,” Olive Town Supervisor Jim Sofranko said.“Catskill Watershed Corporation will be doing outreach onto these properties with a local person who we’ve assigned to work with them in the outreach to the community,” he said.
Those easements are necessary to run pipes and infrastructure to make the system work effectively.
“Sometimes it makes sense to go through the back yards of properties due to either elevations or any kind of geographical need. And every little area is different, so the plan has a number of easements in it,” Sofranko said.
The project will proceed under the authority of the New York City Community Wastewater Management Program and funded by NYC through a $48 million block grant. It is administered by Catskill Watershed Corporation.
But a project of this size takes time to get everything into place.
“It’ll be at least three years at the earliest before we see any shovels in the ground,” Sofranko said.“You have to get the easements and then if you don’t get all the easements, then you have to change the plans. And then the plans have to get reviewed again by DEP and DEC. And they have to approve whatever final plans we have, then it would go out to bid I believe. And there would be a whole bidding process for this. You can see how this process could take forever.”