CRARYVILLE–The Taconic Hills Board of Education has allocated $7,500 for mandatory water testing for lead. This follows legislation signed September 6 by Governor Cuomo requiring all school districts in the state to test potable water for lead contamination and to develop and implement a remediation plan should test results show lead contamination in excess of 15 parts per billion.
In his report to the school board at its September 21 meeting, Facilities Director Nicholas Smith said that 420 samples were taken the previous weekend and sent out for analysis on September 19 at a cost of $17.50 per sample.
“Every cold water outlet was tested,” Mr. Smith said.
The district’s water is supplied by two wells. Because the water source is considered public, the district’s potable water has been regularly tested.
Mr. Smith said that should lab analysis show an unacceptable level of lead the district would then conduct a 30-second flush test would on suspect outlets to determine whether the contamination is from the water source or the faucet. “Faucet components can be made from brass which contains some lead,”, Mr. Smith said.
The new law requires school districts to test their water every five years. The Department of Health is the enforcement agency regarding lead contamination compliance.
In other business last week:
• Superintendent Neil Howard, Jr. reported that three weeks into the new school term the district shows an overall increase in enrollment, which is now at 1,407 students compared to 1387 students last year.
Other enrollment increases include ESL (English as second language) students, up from 17 to 24, and students classified as homeless, which has risen from 4 last year to 17 this year
• Cook Manager Pamela Strompf said that 415 students are now eligible for free meals. If that number increases to 576, then all students will be eligible for free meals
• Business Manager Cybil Howard informed the board that if the property deductible was increased from $1,000 to $5,000, the district would receive a 50% reduction on its liability insurance premium, which currently is $16,000
• Audit Chair Joseph Costa reported that 25% of school taxes have been collected.
The next meeting of the Taconic Hills Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Craryville campus.