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Committee approves sewer district plan, project costs

February 16, 2017
By Jimmy McCarthy - , Westfield Republican

County legislators are set to give their final approval to a $3.9 million phosphorus removal project at the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District during next week's full County Legislature meeting.

On Monday, legislators on the Public Facilities Committee carried a resolution authorizing bonds for the project at the plant in Mayville. Committee members also passed a resolution which determined the project is in the public's interest.

A public hearing will be held at the Feb. 22 legislature meeting related to proposed plant enhancements.

Project plans changed from May 2015 when the legislature approved $2.8 million in spending to get the treatment plant up to standards. An engineer change from AECOM to O'Brien & Gere, a state licensed engineer, and a new DEC disinfection technology requirement factored into the increase.

Under the new plan, ultraviolet technology would be used for treatment. Tom Carlson, sewer district director, told legislators the DEC permits chlorine to disinfect, but it then needs to be taken out. Carlson said the technology wasn't part of the initial project, but it will eliminate the need to use chlorine gas.

"We could either add chemicals and add equipment to do that, or we could go with UV, which is a very clean sort of application and low power costs in the village of Mayville. It seemed like a good fit for this project."

Project plans also detail replacing the existing emergency generator and the original mechanical bar screen. Once plant upgrades are made, the plant's roadway would also be milled and repaved.

Despite an increase in cost, County Attorney Steve Abdella said the county was able to secure zero percent financing for the project. A March deadline looms, however, to submit an application to secure the zero percent financing.

Rates for the typical single-family home within the district were going to be $472 a year, a jump of $94 from original rates. With no-interest financing available for 30 years, rates would instead be $466 per year, an increase of $88.

"That's allowed the district, with no-interest financing, to create a much better project with more being accomplished ultimately for a lower cost," Abdella said. "They really wanted to take advantage of no-interest financing for that purpose."

The public hearing on the proposed project will take place at 6:45 p.m. at the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building. A notice was sent to residents within the district.

In other news, legislators approved a resolution to increase appropriations to rehab the South Main Street bridge in the city of Jamestown. Project construction, which was originally estimated at $2.3 million, rose to $3.7 million. Kitty Crow, finance director, said the bid that came in for the project went over budget.

The project isn't a full bridge replacement but instead a major rehab, according to County Executive Vince Horrigan. Construction is expected to begin this year.

"Obviously, that bridge is critical to Jamestown and traffic going through there. It's been in limited service for quite a while."

Federal funds will foot 80 percent of project costs. Out of the remaining 20 percent, the state will fund 15 percent while the county will provide 5 percent.



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