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Presbyterian Church opts for own vendor on water remediation

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Shelter Island Presbyterian Church officials have opted to use their own vendor to correct high nitrogen levels in the drinking water at the building.

That decision came at the end of last week, according to Town Engineer John Cronin.

“I see the town’s role as done at this point,” Mr. Cronin said.

According to numbers furnished by the county health department to the Reporter in November, water tested in the first quarter of 2018 exceeded the allowable 10 milligrams of nitrates per liter, testing at 10.3 mg. In the third quarter, nitrate levels were at 14.9 mg. and the number in the fourth quarter was 16.3 mg.

The initial reason the town became involved with the project was that it uses church facilities to conduct its senior nutrition program that provides lunches for seniors twice a week as well as food for Meals On Wheels. The church also provides space to the private Early Childhood Learning Center preschool for 2- and 3-year-old students.

Based on the original quote the church’s vendor submitted for work, the cost of correcting the water problem could come in at $15,412 — money Mr. Cronin said the church will seek from the Water Quality (WQ) Improvement Projects Advisory Board.

If the WQ recommends payment, it would fall to the Town Board to make a final decision.

It also falls to church officials to negotiate their plans with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Bureau of Drinking Water to ensure the plan meets with requirements.

Dan Binder is the primary church representative on the project. Mr. Binder hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment on where the project stands.