Cobleskill's water wheel back in place
By Patsy Nicosia
It took four years for Jonathan DiCesare's dream of installing a working water wheel in Cobleskill's Centre Park to become a reality.
But Sunday, after two more days of dawn-to-dusk work by a crew of volunteers of volunteers, the 11-foot wheel is nearly ready to begin generating electricity at the micro-hydroelectric facility on Mill Creek.
Jonathan, 19, and a sophomore at Boston College, first conceived of the water wheel and hydroelectric facility as an Eagle Scout project.
In the end, though, he focused his Eagle Scout efforts on building a mill house to house the water wheel's inner working and financing and designing the rest of the project took on a life of its own.
Historically, Cobleskill's Mill Creek was known for its water-powered mills.
The newest water wheel and drop-turbine on the pre-existing dam will generate five kilowatts of electricity that will be metered to the grid with revenues paying for ongoing maintenance.
Jonathan harnessed the support of engineers, businesses, civic organizations, and politicians and even the Army Corps of Engineers to make the project a reality.
"It took longer than I expected, but it's exciting to see it here," he said Saturday, as volunteers worked to put the final pieces in place.