The Mohawk Valley Stewardship Council has been restoring White Sulphur Springs Ranch for about five years, with a few recent encouraging events.
In 2011 the stewardship council was awarded a grant from the Caltrans Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program to restore the swimming pool, but the money would not be granted until infrastructure upgrades were in place items such as electrical system improvements, a new water distribution system, and a septic system and leach field that were sufficient to service not only the pool and bathhouse, but all of the other facilities planned for the project.
A series of engineering studies and soils tests could not identify a suitable location for the leach field on any of the 39 acres of White Sulphur Springs Ranch property. The moisture content of the soil was deemed much too high.
It was not until July that a solution to the problem became possible when an adjacent property came up for sale.
The soil on the property was tested and deemed suitable for the leach field. The council was then able to use capital reserves to purchase the 3-acre parcel adjacent to the property.
As a result of solving the leach field issue and subsequent renegotiation of the terms of the grant, Caltrans has agreed to release funds from the promised grant to cover critical infrastructure upgrades. The project is ready to move forward.
Preliminary pool and bathhouse designs are complete and were submitted to the county in August. Septic, well distribution and electrical designs were also submitted at that time.
The Caltrans grant will require a state architect review, which will occur sometime this winter. If all goes well, ground will break for the new septic system and leach field in the spring or summer of 2016.
The need to purchase the adjacent land has depleted capital reserves. Numerous local contractors have agreed to donate labor and materials to support the project, but MVSC says more is needed.
The MVSC asks the community to support the many fund-raising efforts that will be presented. The next one is the Mumbo Gumbo fundraiser at Nakoma on Sept. 5. Tickets are available at nakomagolfresort.com.
Cash donations, private party and business memberships will also help raise money for the improvements. To learn more about how individuals can support the restoration effort, visit the website at whitesulphurspringsranch.com. For more information, call 836-1436.