FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-93
September 28, 2018
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CWC and DEP Celebrate the Start of Construction for New Building in Delaware County
The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for a 35,000-square-foot building near Arkville that will house a total of more than 70 employees from both agencies. The new office complex is located on Delaware County Route 38.
The event signaled the start of construction on the $19 million project, and ushered in a new phase in the partnership between the City agency responsible for operating, protecting and maintaining the vast New York City water system, and the nonprofit corporation that administers several water quality protection programs in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed where most of the City’s water originates.
CWC will own the office complex, and DEP will lease space for up to 44 employees. The arrangement will improve communication between the two organizations and provide a one-stop shop for residents and businesses who are affected by watershed regulations and eligible for benefits and assistance programs. The new building will also allow DEP to vacate a number of temporary office trailers while moving some employees to a location that is more geographically central to its work in the watershed.
“We see this as a new chapter in the evolution of our role as advocates for watershed people,” said Michael Triolo, President of the CWC Board of Directors. ‘Having our staff a few steps away from DEP staff will help us provide more timely information to people and hopefully expedite projects to benefit our communities.”
“The shared office complex in Delaware County will greatly improve the efficiency of many programs that are run by DEP and our invaluable partners at the Catskill Watershed Corporation,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Watershed residents will benefit from the co-location of our respective employees, which will allow them to troubleshoot wastewater, stormwater and other projects more quickly. The new office will also provide a more permanent location for DEP employees who have worked for years in temporary trailers, and a more central location for our engineers and planners who work in the heart of the watershed on a daily basis. We look forward to calling Arkville home in 2020.”
The two-story building, designed by Keystone Associates, is configured with two wings connected by a common lobby. One side will accommodate 27 offices allocated to CWC, and the other will house DEP offices. At least 26 DEP employees will be assigned to the Arkville location when it opens in 2020, with an additional 14-20 City employees moving into the building by the year 2026. The building will include employees from DEP’s tree taskforce, regulatory program, water supply operations, and the department’s bureau that oversees large water-supply construction projects.
The building will also include a 144-seat auditorium and a 700-square-foot exhibition area to be occupied by the Water Discovery Center (WDC). This will be accessed through a separate entrance enabling it to be utilized for meetings, conferences, and public and school programming. The Discovery Center will be designed and managed by the non-profit WDC organization that also plans to develop a nature trail on 33 acres behind the building stretching to the East Branch of the Delaware River.
A kitchen and dining area, several small conference rooms and an outdoor courtyard are planned. There will be parking for 144 cars and two buses. A 2,263-square-foot garage will house DEP vehicles and equipment. Site work on the 8-acre parcel will begin in early October by Smith Site Development of Binghamton. Construction is estimated to take 14 months, with the building expected to be occupied in early 2020. The General Contractor is F. E. Jones Construction of Binghamton.
The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) is a non-profit, Local Development Corporation responsible for several environmental protection, economic development and education programs in the New York City Watershed west of the Hudson River.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.6 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with $19.1 billion in investments planned over the next decade that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.