County committee supports using $5.4 million in ARPA funds for water project with the Town of Alexander
With cost estimates running as high as $130 million for Phase 4 of the Countywide Water Project in the next few years, Genesee County legislators are jumping at the chance to use federal funds now to finance a Phase 3 construction initiative with the Town of Alexander.
The legislature’s Public Service Committee on Monday approved a resolution that forges an agreement with the town to install water transmission mains and a water storage tank as part of the formation of Water District No. 6.
The key component of the contract is that the county’s portion of the $11.2 million project -- $5,424,000 – will be paid by using some of the American Rescue Plan Act funding it received from the federal government.
County Engineer Tim Hens told the committee that the county will make two deposits into an escrow account that will be used by the Town of Alexander to pay the contractor as needed during construction. The county will monitor the work being performed and certify all draw requests by the town.
"The work will cover the northwest corner of the town -- every public road west of Route 98 and north of Route 20," Hens said. "We are running new water lines to the town, upsizing the mains to 12 inch for transmission and erecting a tower on Halstead Road to feed back into Batavia."
The agreement took a bit longer than usual to make it to the committee as attorneys for both parties had to ensure that the language complied with ARPA requirements.
As previously reported on The Batavian, the county will save $3.3 million in interest by utilizing ARPA money instead of having to bond the expense.
Two other resolutions pertaining to the Countywide Water Project were approved by the PSC, and forwarded to the full legislature:
- Change orders to a Phase 2 project with the City of Batavia wellfield – one with Frey Well Drilling of Alden to deduct $10,000 from the contracted amount and another with Villager Construction of Fairport to add $27,000 to the contracted amount.
Frey’s work involved Well C, while Villager is being paid for the additional work of cleaning and rehabilitating Well A.
The change to the Frey contract lowers the total amount to $137,900, while the change to the Villager agreement raises the amount to $421,000 and extends the contract time to complete the Well A improvement to this fall.
- A budget amendment increasing the Water Fund by $79,000 to cover anticipated expenses related to governmental relations contracts at both the federal and state levels through the end of this year.
In other action, the committee:
- Approved a request to include a 53-acre parcel off Harlow Road in the Town of Darien to Agricultural District No. 1 and set a public hearing on the matter for 5:30 p.m. on May 25 at the Old Courthouse. County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari advised committee members that the land does qualify under the guidelines of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
- Approved the appointment of Batavia business owner Derek Geib to the Genesee County Planning Board to replace Richard Richmond II, who recently filled a vacant seat on the Batavia City Council. County planning board members serve on a volunteer basis.