Mindy Germain said she is running for re-election for commissioner of the Port Washington Water District to continue to improve the quality of water provided to residents.
Germain, who was first appointed to the position by the Town of North Hempstead in 2012, is running unopposed.
“When I joined the Aquifer Committee, I started to learn a lot about the science behind what goes into our drinking water and how much of it the peninsula uses,” Germain said. “Because of what I learned from the committee, I still believe that the quality and quantity of our drinking water is extremely vital to the Port Washington residents’ quality of life.”
In response to the moratorium that was announced on Nov, 13, Germain said the safety of the 30,000 residents that the district serves is the main priority. She commended her staff on being proactive about the emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane.
“While we are not thrilled about the need to request more bonds, the funding is simply necessary to combat emerging contaminants and ensure our systems are resilient for decades to come,” Germain said. “We are currently working with a third-party consultant so we can know exactly how to pay back this bond with as little impact as possible to our water rates and tax levy.”
A Port Washington resident since 2000, Germain joined Residents Forward, a community group dedicated to improving the Port Washington community, in 2006. In 2017, she was honored by former state Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) as a Senate Woman of Distinction for her involvement in the community.
Additionally, she has been a member of the Aquifer Committee for the past 13 years and said that the group was where she became more involved with the water district.
Germain said she is proud of steps that have been taken to combat the over usage of water along the peninsula. According to Germain, the process of regulating irrigation takes into account the weather in the area, so that property is not excessively using water to maintain their property.
“One of the big steps the water district has taken recently is the implementation of regulated irrigation for property owners,” Germain said. “For future buildings, both residential and commercial, those owners will be required to have scheduled and regulated irrigation times for their property.”
Several other programs have been introduced to the Port Washington community under the direction of Germain. She said that introducing the public, and especially the youth in the community, to water issues is important when it comes to planning for the future.
“We hosted events like Pharma Take Back Day, a youth climate summit for high schoolers, and even created educational books for younger students so they can be aware of what we do, and how important water is,” Germain said. “Our vision is that events like these become the standard around Long Island.”
Germain said that she and the other commissioners are planning to meet with people and discuss ways to be more environmentally conscious and transparent with the community.
“We are already scheduling meetings with local environmental groups to bounce ideas around,” Germain said. “Whenever an opportunity for new conservation practices is presented, I will always take advantage of it and have a discussion.
When asked what residents of the water district should expect for the next three years, Germain said she will continue to promote the most excellent water quality and remain environmentally conscious for the people of Port Washington.
“Every year that I am re-elected, I am always humbled that the people in the Port Washington community put their trust and vote of confidence in me and my team,” she said. “My message remains the same; preserve the quality and quantity of water on the peninsula.”