Prior to the forming of the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW), Yorktown was supplied by the Amawalk plant run by Westchester County serving Westchester Water District No. 2 which included Yorktown along with a small part of Somers and Cortlandt. This plant which took water from the Amawalk reservoir was built in the 1970s and was in the process of being expanded.  The Montrose Improvement District had a plant that was built in the 1950s located next to the Catskill Aqueduct which supplied water from the Ashokan reservoir.  This plant supplied the hamlet of Montrose as well as the Village of Buchanan and most of the Town of Cortlandt.

            In 1986 the EPA establishes new drinking water standards under the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act that require a level of filtration neither plant can meet.  Also the New York City DEP notifies all users of NYC water that they must find alternative supplies so that maintenance and repair work can be done on its reservoirs and aqueducts as needed.  MID was evaluating an upgrade while Cortlandt and Yorktown were each looking at building their own new plants.  Eventually all parties began meeting to discuss options.  Studies were showing that millions of dollars could be saved if they built a joint plant to replace the MID facility. There was much discussion between the parties, but little progress was made until July, 1992 when the State Department of Health notifies all parties that “Part 5 of the State Sanitary Code (SSC), Section S-1.30(b) requires surface water sources of water to be filtered by June 29, 1993.”  The notice also states that an extension of up to three years could be obtained if certain criteria are met showing a commitment to meet the requirements. 

            The three entities decided to form a Joint Water Works.  Because County Water District No. 2 served parts of Somers, they had to be invited as a member if the NWJWW was to replace the county.  Somers was given the option to join which it did  8 years later.

Finally on July 20, 1995, after several years of analysis, debates, reviews, and some arguments, the Towns of Cortlandt and Yorktown along with the Montrose Improvement District made the commitment to form the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works.

      The following people met at 9:00 am in the Cortlandt Supervisor’s conference room for this momentous occasion:

Linda Puglisi – Cortlandt Supervisor

James Irish – Cortlandt Town Engineer

Thomas Wood – Cortlandt Town Attorney

Glen Cestaro – Cortlandt Comptroller

Raymond Reber – Chairperson of MID Board

Bernis Nelson – Attorney for MID Board

Michael McCallion – MID Commissioner

Jan Wines – MID Superintendent

Michael Burns – MID District Clerk

Aaron Bock – Yorktown Supervisor

Edward Noonan – Yorktown Superintendent

Robert Raczko – Engineer for CH2M Hill, Inc.

      At this organization meeting three resolutions were passed.  As a show of unity resolution NWJWW-001-95 was jointly submitted by Linda Puglisi, Aaron Bock and Raymond Reber.  This resolution formed the NWJWW.  Linda Puglisi then served as acting chairperson for an organizational meeting.

      Linda Puglisi noted the meeting was properly advertised in the Gannett Newspaper, the Star, The Croton Gazette and the North County News.  Ms. Puglisi, seconded by Mr. Reber and Mr. Bock thanked “all the persons involved in reviewing of the concept: the attorneys, the Joint Water Works Task Force, Town Boards and Commissioners and all those in attendance at this meeting that worked so hard and diligently to put together the framework of a joint water works.” 

      They then proceeded with resolution NWJWW-002-95 to organize the NWJWW.  This resolution delineated how the NWJWW would function.

Then a motion was made by Aaron Bock, seconded by Raymond Reber for resolution NWJWW-003-95 to have the NWJWW take over the Amawalk facilities from Westchester County.   It stated:

WHEREAS, representatives of the members of the NWJWW have met with representatives of the County regarding acquisition of the Amawalk Filtration Plant, and


WHEREAS, the County has expressed its interest in such transfer of ownership and operation to the NWJWW, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the County is hereby requested to make a proposal setting forth the procedures and other aspects of the proposed acquisition.

Motion made by Trustee Bock, seconded by Trustee Reber

All voting aye.

      This history making meeting took one hour and fifty minutes.

The following month on Aug 14, 1995 the Board held its first regular meeting

            At this second meeting of the Board four important resolutions were approved.  The first was a contract with The Columbia Group, Inc. regarding the valuation study of assets to be contributed by the members to the NWJWW.  The second was a contract with Hazen & Sawyer, P.C. for design of the Catskill Dissolved Air Flotation Treatment plant.  The third was a contract with CH2M HILL, Inc. to design a water transmission system connecting Yorktown to the Catskill facility.  The forth was a recommendation to the County to “proceed with the full expansion of Amawalk Filter Plant, including the residuals thickening process” as defined in the RFQ provided Mr. Wines by the County.

            Other items included Mr. Wines noting Yorktown had appointed Bob Pease to provide legal services, Trustee Reber made a recommendation approved by the other Trustees that the Superintendent, Comptroller and Attorney submit reports for each Board Meeting and Comptroller Glenn Cestaro raised concerns over check signatures.

            Thus began the NWJWW.