Chronic Water Problems In Hook Pond Could Be Funded Through Tax

Almost 90 properties in East Hampton Village that need to be connected to two state-of-the-art wastewater treatment systems may get funded through special district taxes. The chronic water quality problems in Hook Pond and Town Pond need to be addressed soon and officials are looking into how to raise the millions of dollars the project will require.

PC: David E. Rattray

PC: David E. Rattray

Aging septic systems that sit dangerously close to the Hook Pond watershed are the reason 87 properties along Egypt Lane and North Main Street will need to be connected to the new sewage treatment systems.

A consultant told village officials that connecting all the properties to the system could cost upward of $5 million and suggested the cost be spread among the property owners over time through bonds and special tax levies. The property owners would need to approve that course of action through a referendum vote.

Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach acknowledged that Hook Pond and Town Pond have had some discussions but it’s still early in the process. He added, “There is a long-term commitment from the present Board of Trustees as it relates to water quality issues at Hook Pond and Town Pond,” Mayor Rickenbach said. “But it’s a time release capsule. It’s going to take place over several years, so to say how something will be done at this stage is premature. We want to get the vehicle in place for it to happen and we’ll move forward from there.”

Water quality problems in the village aren’t just regulated to old septic tanks. the village is also looking into installing wetlands, excavating phosphorous-laden sediment, and other options for how to filter pollutants from the water.