Middletown protects watershed with purchase of 148 acres in Mount Hope

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MOUNT HOPE – The City of Middletown has purchased two parcels of land totaling 148 acres in the Town of Mount Hope to protect the city’s water supply.

The city received two grants from the state totaling $6 million for watershed protection and spent a little more than half for these purchases.

Mayor Joseph DeStefano said protecting Middletown’s water at its source is a top priority of his.

“Protecting watershed has been a great concern of mine, after what we have seen what happened in Newburgh with their watershed and their reservoirs, Flint, Michigan, to discharge and runoffs from the (Stewart) airport in Newburgh’s case, and we felt it was an important initiative for us to follow through,” he said.

The two acquisitions include the 87-acre USA construction parcel, upstream from the Kinch Reservoir in Mount Hope and the Shawangunk Kill, which feeds into the Kinch Reservoir, traverses the parcel.

Kinch is one of four reservoirs providing raw water to Middletown’s drinking water supply.

The city paid $500,000 for the land, which had been planned for development as a residential subdivision.

The adjacent 61-acre Banca parcel in Mount Hope is adjacent to the Kinch Reservoir. The city purchased the parcel for $2.5 million and will remove the buildings, septic field and waste area that was once used for manure storage.

DeStefano said they hope to purchase more land to preserve the watershed in Mount Hope, Wawayanda and Greenville.