Council approves $9.1 million in borrowing for water and sewer projects

The city’s water tank near Tecler School will get an overhaul as part of a large-scale project to upgrade the municipal water system. The Common Council approved a total of $9.1 million in borrowing with two bond resolutions at a meeting on June 6. $5.5 million will go toward the water system project and $3.6 million will be used for additional upgrades to the sewer system.

According to the resolutions, approximately $3.9 million in aid from New York State is expected to reduce the total amount of debt the city will need to carry for the projects.

In regards to the water tank near Tecler School, McDonald Engineering, a firm contracted by the city to advise on infrastructure projects, wrote in their report, “The [Tecler] tank requires a full interior and exterior sandblasting to remove the existing coating systems. Lead paint was used as part of the last re-coating, so this project will require that any lead be properly removed and disposed of.”

The estimated repairs on the Tecler tank amount to $2.9 million. The tank on Locust Avenue is described by McDonald as in better condition and will receive $400,000 in repairs. Additional work that will be done on the water system includes replacement of 100 isolation valves, 50 fire hydrants, replacement of 12 pressure reducing valves, replacement of collapsed under-drains at the water treatment plant, the replacement of 100 “main to curb stop” lines, upgrades to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment, as well as other valves and fittings at the Brookside pump station.

Major work on the city’s sewer system is already underway under a $5.5 million project approved last year by the council. The new $3.6 million project will consist of additional rehabilitation or replacement of 15,000 linear feet of sewer piping and 50 manholes throughout the city, and rehabilitation of the Hover Street pump station and three Erie Street pump stations. That work will include replacement of the pumps and side rails, level sensing equipment, control panels, installation of a bypass pump connection and installation of emergency generators. Work at the water treatment plant will include replacement of primary, waste, and thickened sludge pumps, associated piping and valves, and replacement of the aeration blowers.

According to McDonald’s report the project will provide for reduced operational and maintenance costs, as well increased reliability of the sewer system and better capacity for the water system to maintain adequate pressure during water main breaks or major firefighting events.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.