AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (WRGB) – It’s a city in dire financial straights. But now there’s some hope.
A new state grant could help kick start replacement of lead pipes that lead to homes, including homes on a street CBS 6 has covered extensively.
Mayor Michael Villa provided CBS 6 a picture of a letter from the state Department of Health. It says the city of Amsterdam will be given just under $522,000 to replace lead service pipes that deliver water to homes.
While this money will be used throughout the city, the Mayor says Church Street will be included.
As CBS 6 has reported for more than a year now, residents on that street have been pushing for repairs to the heavily-traveled road. there's funding for a major rehab, but first, those pipes have to be replaced. Mayor Villa says this is a big step in achieving that goal.
"Any of the streets that we're going to be paving, we certainly want to get lead service replaced or repaired prior to any paving - we just got the award letter, so we need to determine the funding stream - Church Street then being a priority to get that done first,” Mayor Villa told CBS 6’s J.T. Fetch over the phone.
Because the City of Amsterdam is around $8 million in debt, the city can't spend money up front, and be reimbursed later; that money would have to be borrowed.
Mayor Villa says the process in securing borrowing is going well. He also says there’s no water quality concerns related to the lead pipes.
Mayor Villa says the hope is to finally begin the major reconstruction of Church Street next spring.