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Gouverneur village board pushes forward on municipal projects

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday to borrow up to $6.2 million for a sewer/storm water separation project it is required to complete and made progress on a number of other municipal projects.

Residents probably will not bear the total cost of the storm water separation project as the village expects to be eligible for a number of grants. It already has been awarded a $2 million Green Innovation Grant through the state Environmental Facilities Corp.

The village is under a state Department of Environmental Conservation consent order to correct long-standing problems with storm water overwhelming the village sewer system, which leads to overflows.

The village board also agreed to switch over a $25,000 state grant provided several years ago for shared services for a joint study with the town on sewer treatment processing.

The town is interested in getting out of day-to-day operations of its sewer system, Trustee Ronald P. McDougall said.

“This is a concept only at this point,” he said. “This has got some real meat to it. We think we can qualify for some sizeable grants to accomplish this.”

The board also agreed to allow the state Department of Transportation to build a line under North Gordon, Trinity and Austin streets that will handle runoff from Route 11. The board tabled the issue two months ago in the hopes it would be able to direct some of its storm water through the line, but DOT refused to allow that.

The village has the option of paying approximately $50,000 to lay its own pipe in the DOT trench as part of DOT’s road reconstruction project next year.

Although the village had hoped for more, it realized the DOT project will put it further ahead with its own work. It also did not want to delay the roadwork, which is part of the solution to bringing better water pressure to the Kinney Drugs warehouse, Mr. McDougall said.

“It’s much needed,” he said.

Work on a temporary fix for Kinney Drugs could begin in September.

“You need to get the bids back and award the contracts,” said Michael J. Burgess, Kinney vice president of financial planning and treasury services. “We’re hoping to get this done by the end of the year. We’re ready to go with what we need to do.”

The DOT project also will require the replacement of 28 street lights. The village is considering turning over the installation and ownership of the new lights to National Grid, which would install 150-watt high-pressure sodium lighting. Village streetlights are antiquated and parts are difficult to find.

Trustees also agreed to repair a fire hydrant at the Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair so that it works before the event begins and ask the associations that run the fair to split the approximate $2,000 to $3,000 cost.

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