‘It’s terrifying.’ Ticonderoga resident says he will lose his water unless he pays thousands
A man who lives in the Adirondacks says he may soon have no water in his home – unless he ponies up to foot the bill.
Todd Condon said he feels like he’s being hung out to dry.
Condon grew up in Ticonderoga. It’s home to the historic landmark, Fort Ticonderoga.
“Just look around you. This time of year, you’ve got your pumpkins. Your leaves falling. Lakes. Mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to live here?”
However, Condon said his thoughts on Ticonderoga have been tainted for several years now.
The town entered into an agreement in 2018 with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Many residents will lose Gooseneck Pond as their water source by 2025 because it’s not in compliance with federal regulations for safe drinking water.
The deadline looms for Condon.
“Homes without water are homes that people can’t live in. We can’t afford to live in homes without water,” Condon said.
Condon and his wife received a letter from the town last December. The letter stated the town has been working for years to find solutions to get Condon and other residents a new water source.
Town officials believe Condon’s home may be suited for drilling a private well.
“There’s nowhere to put it on the property, and then there’s the cost. I would have to take out a bank loan, which I probably wouldn’t even qualify for,” Condon said.
13Investigates called several different companies to ask about pricing. We were told a person should budget between $15,000 to $30,000 for a private well.
“I’m living like a lot of people live. Check to check,” Condon said.
Condon has contacted Ticonderoga’s town board, and the town supervisor, and even wrote to Rep. Elise Stefanik and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“That’s the whole point to the people that represent us: we’re not angry with you, we’re not blaming you, all we’re trying to ask you to do is just represent who voted for you in office. Who put you where you are,” Condon said.
13Investigates called and emailed Ticonderoga Town Supervisor, Mark Wright, hoping to get some answers, but Wright said the town can’t comment because of pending litigation.
“I am in the section that is on the well water. I have spent hundreds of dollars having shower heads clean, faucets clean, different maintenance done,” Bill Grinnell said, a Ticonderoga resident.
Grinnell was not only born and raised in Ticonderoga, he used to be the town supervisor.
He filed a lawsuit suit this month, with a few other residents, against the town for this very issue.
“It just seemed ludicrous to me that Ticonderoga, the land between the waters, is going to drill wells for no good economical, or safety reasons? It just seemed like a big mistake, in my opinion,” Grinnell said.
13Investigates’ Tessa Bentulan asked Grinnell and Condon what they believe the solution is, and that is to keep Gooseneck Pond as the water source.
A document from the Town of Ticonderoga states Gooseneck Pond has to legally be abandoned as a drinking source.
The letter that Condon and his wife got in December states there are several options available other than drilling a private well.
- Drill a common well shared with up to four homes.
- Get water from Eagle Lake using an in-home treatment system.
- Connect to an existing municipal system or a smaller system that also uses a well.
It’s up to the property owner to decide what’s best for them, but Condon said that’s tricky.
“That’s the problem in forming a water district is people have already gone to other options,” Condon said. “A lot of the residents are just summer residents. We only see them for 2-3 months of the year.”
Town supervisor, Mark Wright was quoted in a news article from March saying, “The town of Ticonderoga is under no legal obligation to provide water in this situation. There is no current municipal water district in existence for this area….we do have a moral obligation in doing whatever we can to provide the residents with water. It’s the right thing to do.”
“It’s terrifying. It’s fear just daily fear thinking, ‘What am I going to do?” Condon said.
Many other residents got the same letter as Condon, leaving others wondering what they are going to do.
The letter from last December said Ticonderoga continues to try and get funding to help homeowners with private drinking water sources.
It says to date, the town has not.
13investigates wanted to get an update on that but with the pending litigation, Wright could not answer that.