You may not have known this, with all of the scaffolding around newly demolished buildings, but Beacon has been under a six-month building moratorium, whereby the city is not granting permission to build new projects. Special exemptions exist, such as if a residential application was being proposed that used less than 330 gallons of water per day, or a non-residential application resulting in more than 2,000 gallons of water per day (both as determined by the city engineer), but for the most part, everything new has been halted. However, everything that already was proposed and approved before July 25 before remains in full swing.
But what does water have to do with anything? Why does water come into play with these building exemptions? Because the City of Beacon felt that although it had encouraged residential and commercial development over the years, and that dream did come true, perhaps it was a bit too soon. The water supply was estimated to accommodate 17,800 people. As part of new residential projects recently approved to develop Beacon, 1,027 new units are on their way. According to the moratorium legislation passed on September 19, 2017, however, the current population is reaching that limit quicker than expected, thus creating a hunt for more water. "The City is concerned that such a large number of housing in such a short time will stress the City's water supply," reads the approved legislation document forwarded to us by City Administrator Anthony Ruggiero. "The City's vision was that development would be more gradual and take place over a period of years. The accelerated development of housing within the City will lead to greatly increased consumption of services and resources."
The Water Supply Plan, Presented on March 14, 2018
In the past, the City hired Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc (LBG) to look into the development of a new well on the existing Water Treatment Plant property, the location of which was found to be unsuitable for potable water because the location did not have enough water to yield. Therefore, evaluations continue regarding the system's existing capacity and potential for future needs. A review of the capacity of the existing sources (groundwater and surface water) will continue, and they'll review how water has been collected in the past, up until today. "The water system evaluation will include a review of available 'finished' water storage capacity, and a review of existing water treatment methods and capacity."
That presentation of findings is being delivered tonight, Wednesday, March 14, at 7 pm, by LG Hydrogeologic Engineering Services, PC at 1 Municipal Plaza, Beacon, NY. The meeting is open to the public to listen, but not participate.