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Route 12 water projects proposed in Alexandria, Orleans would cost more than $13 million

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A proposed shopping center development near the Thousand Islands Bridge is pushing Alexandria’s town government to put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of state and federal money for a public water project along the Route 12 corridor.

It will cost the town an estimated $2.8 million to run the roughly three-mile water line extension along Route 12 from Otter Street to Interstate 81 — where Blue Properties, Tampa, Fla., has proposed to build a shopping plaza with five storefronts on a vacant lot across the street from the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center.

Alexandria Supervisor Dale D. Hunneyman said the town hopes to secure a $1.4 million loan and $750,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and cover the remaining cost with a $650,000 Empire State Development grant.

The water district will serve a total of 104 equivalent dwelling units, including 40 units for the proposed plaza.

Preliminary project designs — prepared by Fourth Coast Inc., Clayton — have been submitted to the state Department of Health for review, and the town is hoping to get the project “shovel-ready” by next spring.

Moving forward just a step behind Alexandria is the neighboring town of Orleans, which is planning a much larger project to bring potable water to Route 12 residents who have been suffering from salt contamination originating from a state Department of Transportation facility.

Orleans’s project carries a price tag of $10.8 million and would serve hundreds of households, roughly 500 units, between Collins Landing and Fishers Landing.

Local officials are hoping DOT will chip in some money toward the project and the town will apply early next year for low-interest loans and grants to pay for the construction.

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