MAHOPAC, N.Y. - As work on the $2.2 million Airport Park project continues, town officials look to develop a water source that will provide irrigation for the newly seeded athletic fields.
The Airport Park project will create five new soccer/lacrosse fields, a restroom building, a playground, pavilion, bleachers and a concession stand. In addition, fencing and a parking lot will be constructed, and the driveway upgraded. Hiking trails around the park will also get a makeover.
With the first phase of the project completed, the town is now studying several options that will provide water for the grass playing fields.
Jim Gilchrist, director of the Recreation and Parks Department, said they’ve narrowed it down to two options: using nearby Lake McGregor, or “well No. 7” at the neighboring Putnam County Golf Course. Gilchrist explained that at one time the property that is now the golf course was being considered for a housing development and consequently a series of wells was drilled in anticipation. One of those wells—No. 7—proved to be particularly productive; Gilchrist called it “a geyser.”
With the county’s permission, the town conducted a study last month to see if the yield at No. 7 was sufficient enough for the Airport Park irrigation needs and discovered it was. The next step is to learn if using No. 7 for the ball fields would have any adverse effects on neighboring wells.
The board voted to spend $11,670 to have HydroEnvironmental Solutions Inc. of Somers conduct the test, which was slated to begin this week.
The test will study the impact of using No. 7 on two wells in Water District No. 14 and two wells on the golf course property, including the one for the clubhouse.
“What they will do is what they call a 48-hour test,” Gilchrist told the board at its Nov. 26 meeting. “This would be pumping at approximately 60 gpm for a 48-hour period. We would then monitor the two District 14 wells, and two wells on the county property. We know we can take water from this well, but we don’t want that to affect anyone else.”
If well No. 7 proves viable by not adversely impacting neighboring wells, Insite Engineering, the town’s consultants on the project, will a do a cost analysis to see which option—No. 7 or Lake McGregor— is the most fiscally feasible.
“This is the last piece of the puzzle,” Gilchrist said.
The town has already determined that Lake McGregor meets the standards to pump water to the fields. Residents in the nearby housing development have asked the town to look into the health of the lake as well, and so a biodiversity study is being conducted this week.
Gilchrist said he hopes to have the irrigation system up and running by June 2020, but on the outside chance it’s not, he said a temporary solution—likely utilizing Lake McGregor with a temporary pump—would be incorporated. But Gilchrist said that he is optimistic it will be ready by June.
For last month’s test to see if well No. 7 had the required yield for the irrigation system, the town used its own generator, which Gilchrist said saved the town about $2,400. They will use that generator again for this week’s tests.
Gilchrist said he hopes all the reports will be ready by Dec. 15 so the town can make an informed decision on which water source to use.