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The village of Whitehall is the recipient of $130,000 in federal funding to improve the municipality’s sewer system.

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, announced the funding through the USDA Rural Development Grant Program.

According to a news release, the funding will upgrade the village’s sewer system by eliminating three storm sewer cross connections and consolidate and manage sewer overflows and rehabilitate some of the worst sections of the gravity sewer main.

“It’s an old system and a lot of the stormwater and sewer were combined many years ago, and so now we’re under a DEC (state Department of Environmental Conservation) consent order to get that separated,” said Mayor Phil Smith. “And so that’s what a lot of this work is, to get the stormwater out of our sanitary sewer system, because especially when we have these heavy rain events, it overwhelms the wastewater plant.”

Smith said the village is finishing up work on Elizabeth Street. Mountain Street and Skene Street work is finished, and the village has also done some work on Seventh Avenue.

The $130,000 will fund phase two of the sewer project, which will involve work along Route 22 north of the village. Smith said it will probably be springtime before it is finished.

“It just couldn’t happen without it,” Smith added about the federal funding for the upgrades. “The village is real grateful for what we’ve been able to secure for grants and funding, because we’re in desperate need of repairs.”

Sen. Schumer added in a release that the funds will provide a “major boost” to the village.

“These federal funds are a step in the right direction and will help the Village of Whitehall make critical investments in water infrastructure, boost economic development and improve public health,” Schumer said. “I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to make sure that rural communities have the tools they need to grow and prosper.”

“This grant is great news for the village of Whitehall. New Yorkers should be able to trust that their water infrastructure is safe and reliable, and with this federal funding, the village of Whitehall will be able to improve its sewer system for its residents,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The USDA Rural Development Program provides funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program, which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig contributed to this report.

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