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Alex Bay secures funding for $1.8 mil sewer project

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — The village finally has secured the funding it needs to undertake a $1.84 million sewer project and lift a state order that has been hindering development.

The state Environmental Facilities Corp. recently offered the village a $1.44 million grant, in the form of debt forgiveness on a no-interest loan, to build a new sanitary collection system along Catherine Avenue, an area where aging clay tile pipes have been causing overflow during storms and snowmelts.

“This is pretty much the best offer you can get,” said project engineer Gregor K. Smith, of Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown.

Since 2007, the village has been under a state Department of Environmental Conservation consent order that restricts new sewer connections in Alexandria Bay.

Officials started planning the Catherine Avenue sewer project in 2009, aiming to replace the 100-year-old pipes with new, larger ones to minimize infiltration and reduce overflow at the sewage treatment plant, but the village has been unable to secure funds for the construction until now.

Mayor Danielle L. Jury said she soon will sign and submit a letter of intent to the EFC accepting the offer so that the village can finally move forward with the project.

The remaining $400,000 of the project’s total cost will be paid back by village sewer users over the next couple of decades by gradually increasing rates.

The village also submitted a separate application for a $30,000 matching EFC Clean Water State Revolving Fund grant to evaluate Alexandria Bay’s entire wastewater system.

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