Bonding motion for Seneca Falls sewer upgrades dies for lack of second

A motion to bond or borrow $3 million to pay for upgrades to the sanitary sewer system in the former village failed at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

The bonding motion was made by Supervisor Greg Lazzaro following a 20-minute public hearing.

But the motion was met by silence. None of the other three board members present offered a second. Board member Doug Avery was absent.

Engineer Peter Baker from Barton & Loguidice Engineers explained during the hearing that the former village system inherited by the town when the village dissolved in 2011 “is aging and leaking and if we don’t address the infiltration and inflow of storm water into the sanitary sewers, the town could be facing a DEC consent order.”

He said sewer mains in the Johnston, Cayuga and Maple Street area need replacement and work must be done to separate storm water from roof drains, basement sump pumps and storm sewers from getting into the sanitary sewers and overwhelming the wastewater treatment plant. Too much flow could result in poorly treated waste being discharged into the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.

Baker said the town has received a grant and a zero-interest loan from the state toward the project. That will go to help pay off the bond, should it be approved. In response to questions, Baker said the project is separate from the new sanitary sewer line from the Kingdom Road pump station east into the former village and separate from a 3.5-million-gallon equalizer tank at the treatment plant that needs repair.

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