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monroe county water authority

July 20, 2021 - 2:03pm

hens_1.jpgIt might not be fair to say that Genesee County is desperate for water, but when you slice it and dice it, Genesee County is desperate for water.

County officials -- understanding the impact that water has on the future of economic development -- are going all out in an effort to pump another 7.6 million gallons a day into the municipality.

On Monday afternoon, the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee recommended approval of four resolutions on measures designed to increase or enhance the water supply.

County Engineer/Highway Superintendent Tim Hens (photo at right) provided details about the resolutions as he looks forward to wrapping up Phase 2 of the Countywide Water Supply Program and embarking upon Phase 3, a $90 million project that would increase significantly the daily capacity of water.

All four resolutions likely will be on the agenda of the full legislature meeting on July 28 at the Old County Courthouse.

The four resolutions, with comments from Hens, are as follows:

-- A contract with the consulting firm of Clark Patterson Lee in the amount of $950,00 for a Basis of Design Report and Source Supply Change Studies for Phase 3.

“In Phase 2, which we started in the fall of 2019, at the outset we were kind of behind the 8-ball, so we rushed some things. We started working on the actual design documents for construction bidding somewhat concurrent with the Basis of Design, which is the document used for the Monroe County Water Authority to say exactly how they want things constructed,” Hens said.

“So, were doing a lot of things in parallel – the environmental work, the land acquisition – and, at the end of the day, even though we were trying to make things go faster, I think it just got more confusing for folks and it slowed down the review process quite a bit.

“This time, were not quite behind the 8-ball as we were with Phase 2 – we have a little bit of time, albeit not a lot, so we’re going to get the Basis of Design squared away with Monroe County so we know exactly how they want everything built, what types of pumps they want to use, what type of pipe material – things like that – and get that squared away before we actually put together construction documents for bidding.

“I think that will make the designs for the project move a little smoother and will make the timeline ultimately a little bit shorter.”

Hens said the Basis of Design outlines how the system will work: How the hydraulics between the Genesee County system and the Monroe County system mesh, and determines the required pump speeds and flow rates.

The $950,000 contract includes many “pieces and parts,” Hens said, adding that CPL will not be receiving all of that money (which is being expended from the County Water Fund).

“There are a lot of subcontracts for geotechnical exploration, contracts for land acquisitions and easements. Also, part of the contract is the Source Supply Change.

“With 7.6 million more gallons coming in through Phase 3, that’s enough to basically shut off the City of Batavia water plant. When we do that, the water chemistry from Monroe County is slightly different from the water chemistry in the City of Batavia.

So, if we’re going to replace the city water plant and use Monroe County water, we want to make sure the chemistry lines up and we don’t run into a Flint, Michigan-type of situation (high lead levels). There’s a fairly sizeable chunk of that $950,000 that is dedicated to doing the analysis on the water chemistry to make sure we don’t have that problem.”

-- Rejection of bids for construction of new chlorination stations for Phase 2.

Hens said that the county is at the midpoint of Phase 2, having completed water main work on Vallance Road and North Road in crossing the Thruway in Le Roy, water main work on Chestnut Ridge Road in Chili, new pump stations in Mumford and Churchville.

Several pump station upgrades are in the works in Le Roy and three locations in Monroe County, and another is being built on Golden Road in Chili. That construction is set to take place through the winter, with completion earmarked for next summer.

As far as new chlorination stations, Hens said the county solicited bids to contractors to build three small sheds spread out around the county that had little chlorination injection pumps in them to re-chlorinate the water once the chlorine dissipates.

“The bids we got back were ridiculous; they were probably three to four times more than we thought they were going to be,” he said, reporting that hopes of spending $200,000 for this project was going to be at least $600,000. “And we just don’t have the money to spend on these stations.”

So, Hens turned to Town of Batavia Engineer Steve Mountain, and they agreed that the town will install temporary, skid-mounted systems inside the bases of the water tanks. “That will fix the problem and a much cheaper cost,” he said. “The county will then reimburse the town for the expense.”

-- Rejection of bids for a disinfectant byproduct removal system within the Village of Oakfield water storage tank for Phase 2.

“So, THM (Trihalomethane) is a chemical that builds up in water over time as the chlorine dissipates and breaks down into other things. Typically, what you do is put a spray system into the storage tanks and it takes the chemical out of the water,” he said.

“Again, the bids for this were crazy expensive so we’re looking at doing a different method that's quite a bit cheaper, and we’re having conversations with the Village of Oakfield about that.”

-- A contract with the Carpi & Clay lobbying firm of Washington, D.C., for up to $60,000 to seek grant and other funding for Phase 3.

“There’s a lot of new money for infrastructure in Washington, D.C., right now; there’s a lot of money for water. With the cost of Phase 3, we want to get as much outside help as we can to get federal aid to support our projects, rather than putting it all on the backs of county residents,” he said.

The contract calls for the county to pay $7,000 per month to Carpi & Clay at least through the end of this year, with the stipulation that the firm provides detailed reports of its activities.

Hens said the original estimate for Phase 3 was $76 million but due to inflated construction costs, that figure likely will increase to $90 million or more.

The net result in water supply will be about 3.1 million gallons per day, he said, when considering that the 4.5 million gallons generated by the City of Batavia water plant will be removed from play.

“That still helps us considerably,” he advised.

--------------

HEAVY RAIN LIFTS GROUNDWATER LEVEL

Hens said that last weekend’s heavy rain has raised the groundwater levels up by about eight inches, a good sign for the aquifer heading into August.

“How the aquifer works is that you normally see your highest levels in March and early April,” he said. “Seasonally, as the snow melts and things start to dry out, the groundwater will drop in pretty much a straight line through the summer and into the fall. When you get into the November and December timeframe, sometime into early January, that drops stops and it starts climbing.

“We were on a path as of a week ago, the groundwater was dropping by a half-inch a day, pretty routinely. We were scheduled to drop by another six feet by December. We’re already pretty low; we probably would have been at record level lows by then.”

Hens said he sees the bump in the aquifer as just a temporary respite.

“I think we will continue to drop once we get through this wet period, but I don’t think our drop is going to be as deep as we thought it would be. The deeper the groundwater, the harder it is to pump,” he said.

“A lot of the spike in usage in the summer is related to people filling pools, washing their cars, watering their lawns and gardens – that’s where all the extra water usage comes from. We’ve seen that drop off substantially due to the amount of wet weather we’ve been having. That’s got us knocked back to wintertime water level usage.”

Hens reported that as of yesterday, per day water usage in the city was at 2.8 million gallons – down from the peak usage level of 4.3 million gallons, while Monroe County Water Authority usage dropped back from about 3 million gallons per day at the end of June to 2.2 million gallons per day.

June 2, 2021 - 9:34am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county, monroe county water authority.

While Genesee County leaders place conserving water at the top of the priority list, they also are looking at water storage as another step to making sure the supply is able to meet the demand during those extremely hot summer days.

County Engineer Tim Hens reported to legislators Tuesday that water storage does help with peak day requirements and pointed to several corresponding actions currently taking place.

“The addition of the new 750,000-gallon tank in Elba will be beneficial for the entire system as it comes online this summer,” Hens said. “Additionally, large industries in Genesee County are looking to add onsite tanks at their facilities that will allow them to adjust their heavy pumping during peak periods.”

Hens said that he has been talking to CPL (Clark Patterson Lee) engineers about advancing some tanks/storage from Phase 3 of the County Water Project to Phase 2 (which is happening now) as quicker ways to deal with peak day demands.

The Monroe County Water Authority also is moving ahead on a project to build a ground storage tank in Pavilion along Walker Road at the old Village of Le Roy water treatment plant that will provide 700,000 gallons per day, he said.

“There is an opportunity for the county to participate and upsize this tank to 1.5 million gallons,” Hens said. “The county share to do this would be about $400,000 which I feel is a great deal and is something the water fund could easily handle.”

Hens said that MCWA also plans to adjust the hydraulic grade zones south of Le Roy and in the Village of Le Roy to be on the same … zone that feeds much of the “center” of the county.

“This would allow the new Pavilion tank to coordinate directly with the Temperance Hill (situated west of Stafford, close to Fargo Road Pioneer Cemetery) tanks,” he said.

Hens said that the county is willing to pursue this arrangement, adding that he expects this tank to be completed by the end of next summer.

Last week, county, City and Town of Batavia, Village of Oakfield, Village of Elba and county Health Department officials issued a bulletin asking residents to do their part to conserve water this summer.

Reasoning behind the request is that, despite county efforts to increase the supply, “rapid increases in residential district growth and increased agribusiness and industrial use” have resulted in demand outpacing supply improvements during the summer months.

Officials said that if voluntary conservation measures are unsuccessful, mandatory water conservation may have to be enforced. 

Hens said that the county is taking steps to save water by reducing or eliminating flushing on peak days, better communication on water storage tank levels and coordinating with contractors filling new water mains.

April 5, 2021 - 9:32am

When it comes to Genesee County’s water supply, municipal officials are fixated on a goal of a regionalized system under the umbrella of the Monroe County Water Authority.

Projects continue to move forward to the east and west of Genesee County as part of what is known as Phase 2 – resulting in an additional two and a half million gallons per day. And much more work is planned for Phase 3, which is expected to increase the county’s daily water output by another six million gallons.

With a steady influx of economic development in the county and the prospect of large-scale manufacturing at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama in the near future, the demand for water is bound to amplify.

“We’re flipping over rocks everywhere we go to find more water,” said Highway Superintendent Tim Hens, who is responsible for carrying out the county’s strategy.

Hens said that developing a regional water supply will result in a “resilient, safe and affordable” commodity for years and years.

“That’s probably the best thing for everybody,” he said. “The cost of repairing stuff down the road would be borne by the entire MCWA service area, not just the Village of Le Roy, for example, trying to replace its own water plant.”

Great Lakes water: Safe and plentiful

He said water coming from the Great Lakes is safe and plentiful.

“The water is safer (because) you’re dealing with Great Lakes water as opposed to water that might be contaminated with a flood or runoff or anything else that might go wrong,” he said. “It’s safer and, honestly, it’s more redundant because we will have potentially water supply from four different water plants on the Great Lakes.”

Genesee County has been working over the past two decades to achieve its quest for eight and a half million gallons per day, Hens said, calling the effort “very complex with a lot of intermunicipal relations.”

He said the county’s system currently pumps about four and half million gallons a day through the City of Batavia’s water treatment plant. That water, in turn, is sold to the communities in the central part of the county.

The key player in all of this is the Monroe County Water Authority.

“We get about two and a half million gallons per day from the MCWA through the North Road booster station in Le Roy,” Hens said. “And then Monroe County buys a little bit of water from Erie County to feed Darien, Pembroke and Corfu on the west side.”

Pump station upgrades ongoing

Hens said several pump station upgrades are either in progress or on the schedule as the county works to meet the demand:

  • Mumford and Churchville, small portions of Phase 2 that are set to come online by April 15;
  • Morgan Road in Scottsville; Scottsville; Riga, and North Road, which were submitted to MCWA for consideration last week;
  • Golden Road booster station in the Town of Chili, which was submitted to MCWA on March 5.
  • Bissell Road in Bergen, which calls for the installation of 1,700 linear feet of water main to the MCWA connection, and would provide up to 35,000 gallons per day. Hens said this minor project should be done by June.

Additionally, Hens said that installation of water mains on North Road and Vallance Road in Le Roy and a water line on Chestnut Ridge Road in Chili (that will feed into the yet-to-be-constructed Golden Road booster station) is finished.

Hens said that the pump station upgrades and the Golden Road booster station will mark at end to Phase 2 work.

“All of those projects combined will increase our water supply,” he said. “Hopefully, by this time next year we will have everything done and we can have that water available for the summer of 2022.”

Hot days tax the water supply

While Hens said he looks forward to the warm summer months, he is concerned about “those 90-degree days that put a strain on the water supply.”

“Right now, we’re kind of tapped out on water supply,” he said. “On a hot summer day, like last year on the Fourth of July, we were kind of in drought conditions. We’re pretty much – there was no water left to tap. We were producing all the water that we could produce, and it was being used up on a daily basis.”

Genesee County is taking steps to secure water for its central (including the City of Batavia) and western zones as well, Hens said.

“The city water plant draws water from two primary locations – the Tonawanda Creek and the wells on Cedar Street (in front of the county highway department near O-At-Ka Milk Products),” Hens advised.

He said Well A and Well B are active, but are susceptible to an extended drought. For that reason, the county is looking at adding a third well, Well C.

“Given the fact that we are at – kind of peak supply, peak demand right now until Phase 2 is completed – we need to make sure the Batavia water plant has enough water coming out of it to meet the demand, especially in the summertime,” Hens said. “Well C would be there not necessarily to produce more water but as a backup in case one of the other wells has an issue. That way, we can be assured that the city plant can produce as much water as needed.”

Well C is vital to the overall plan

Hens said the county has completed an environmental review and may be ready to award a bid to Frey Drilling to get this project moving.

“It will probably be late summer or the fall before its online. It’s going to be a critical piece for the next few years to have that,” he said.

On the west side, Hens said the county gets about a million gallons a day from Erie County to serve residents in Darien, Pembroke, Corfu (and a small area in the Town of Alabama).

“We’re looking at every single drop of water that we can get until we can do Phase 3 and eventually Phase 4,” he said.

He said he looked into a project with Erie County that officials thought would create an additional two and a half million gallons per day, but it fell through.

“Last fall, we did some hydraulic testing with Erie and Monroe counties, combined, and artificially created a demand by pumping into Genesee County to see the effect on Erie County. When we were pumping in at a higher rate, we caused pressure issues in Erie County as far west as Cheektowaga along Walden Avenue,” Hens said. “Because of that, it would actually cost more money because of the need to do system upgrades, and we kind of shelved the idea."

Looking ahead, the county is embarking on the environmental, design and master planning work for Phase 3.

Phase 3 completion three years away

“In a perfect world, we would start Phase 3 construction by 2023, but it’s hard to say. I’m hoping, fingers crossed, that Phase 3 can be delivered, complete and operational by 2024 -- 2025 at the latest,” he said.

Hens said a major component of Phase 3 would be to run pipelines back into Monroe County, all the way to the Shoremont Treatment Plant in Greece.

“That’s quite a bit of pipeline, with a lot of it through urban areas, and will be a very expensive project,” he said.

Upon the completion of Phase 3, Hens said that the City of Batavia water plant would be taken offline.

Furthermore, county officials are discussing a proposal to establish a Niagara County-MCWA relationship similar to the current Erie County-MCWA pact, Hens said.

“This could benefit us as we await Phase 3 and provide water to STAMP’s large water needs in the future and benefit MCWA in the long-term as they might be the source beyond what Niagara County could provide to STAMP at full build-out,” Hens explained. “Monroe County, if it agrees, would operate the systems. We’re not sure if it’s feasible; it’s just an option because we’re definitely going to need the water.”

Previous: Genesee governmental leaders ready to address call for a countywide unified water rate

February 22, 2021 - 11:00am

Not satisfied with the latest water rate study conducted by a New York City consulting firm, Genesee County government leaders will be putting their heads together in the coming weeks to find a path to a unified water rate for customers in the county’s two retail areas and lone wholesale area.

Tim Hens, county water system coordinator (as well as highway superintendent and engineer), updated the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee last week about the topic, which was prompted by a request by several towns in the Western Genesee MCWA Retail Area to look into the possibility of one rate for all.

The MCWA, or Monroe County Water Authority, provides water to most of the county, and determines the rates that users pay. Genesee County is divided into three zones: the East and West Retail Areas and the Central Wholesale Area. Currently, the rates are different in the three areas, with the West paying more than the other two, Hens said.

The West is comprised of the Town of Pembroke, Town of Darien and Village of Corfu.

The East side is comprised of Byron, Bergen, Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion and the associated villages in those areas.

And the Central (or northwest) is comprised of the towns of Alabama, Oakfield, Elba, Batavia, Alexander, the villages in those towns, and the City of Batavia.

“Both East and West are retail because the Monroe County Water Authority operates the system,” Hens said. “They do the maintenance and they do the billing. MCWA leases the lines from the towns, operate it on their behalf, and establish the rates.”

MCWA IS THE ‘ULTIMATE AUTHORITY’

Hens said the MCWA, as a public authority, is required to have a third-party consultant come in and look at the total operation costs – pump stations, water treatment plants, water towers, annual maintenance, billing and all the overhead that goes into operating the system – prior to releasing a report.

“But the ultimate authority establishing the rate resides with the MCWA board,” he emphasized.

Concerning the Central Wholesale Area, Hens said those towns and villages are “technically buying water from Genesee County.”

“We purchase water on a wholesale basis from Monroe County at the Seven Springs connections in the Town of Stafford and that water is blended with water produced in the City of Batavia water plant, and then sent out to those areas,” he explained. “Most of the wholesale areas are operated by the Town of Batavia as it has intermunicipal agreements with each of those towns, except for the Village and Town of Oakfield and the City of Batavia, which operate their own systems.”

Hens said that each town still has jurisdiction over its market locally, but buys water from the county at wholesale versus buying it directly from the MCWA.

“The individual rate that each town charges is based on a rate that Genesee County charges them for water, which we use basically a 50-50 blend between the Monroe County wholesale and the City of Batavia rate from the water plant,” he advised. “Those two rates right now are about 10 to 15 cents apart so averaging them together, there isn’t that big of a difference.”

BUYING WATER AT WHOLESALE RATE

He said the county charges the wholesale rate (around $2.43 per 1,000 gallons) to the Central municipalities and, in turn, they mark that up to cover their overhead, capital reserve and/or debt service, and charge the customers just as the MCWA does. Those fees increase the total rate to around $6 per 1,000 gallons, which is within 30 cents per 1,000 gallons of the MCWA retail rate after factoring in all charges.

“At the end of the day, the total rate charged to customers in the Center part of the county, with the exception of the Village of Oakfield, is very comparable to what East residents are paying and not too much different from what the West residents are paying,” Hens said. “Oakfield is a bit higher due to their debt service.”

Customers residing in the Western Genesee Retail Area pay more due to several factors, Hens said.

“What makes the West side unique is that it is a small geographic area with less customers and they also have the operation of the Corfu water plant to factor in. Monroe County uses that plant to essentially treat and disinfect byproducts coming from Erie County because we’re kind of at the end of the system,” he said. “Another factor is the cost of operating the pump station in Pembroke. That area is 60 to 80 miles from the home base in Monroe County.”

Furthermore, much more water is coming in to the East side – a larger area with more customers and just one operational expense: the North Road pump station.

“That results in the difference in retail rates with the West side, obviously, being more expensive,” Hens said/ “The West side water is also expensive due to the higher cost of water in Erie County which MCWA must buy and then markup to cover their costs.”

DISCREPANCY IS PART OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE

Hens said the price difference between the East and West came to light a few years ago during negotiations over sales tax agreements and water rates with the towns and villages.

“At the time it was about a 90-cent difference between the East and West, with the West being more expensive – and we received a lot of feedback from municipalities on the West side of the county (stating) that there was a perception of unfairness in the rate,” he said.

As a result, the county was asked to investigate – in consultation with the MCWA -- and try to come up with a uniform rate throughout the county.

“We did that about a year ago as the legislature passed a resolution asking the Water Authority to study the feasibility of a unified county rate so that East and West would basically pay the same,” Hens said. “The thought was that because of the water usage difference between the East and the West, a unified rate would be halfway between or skewed toward the East because it is using about twice the amount of water that the West does.”

Hens said county officials were eager to see the rate study, hoping that it would lead to opportunities to move Erie County water through the West side of the system -- potentially to Alabama, Oakfield or Elba if those towns were to migrate to a retail situation with Monroe County.

BILLED VS. MASTER METERED WATER

“So, we got the study back, and the rates are a little bit higher than what I anticipated,” he said. “The biggest factor in the difference from what I projected and what the consultant (Amawalk Consulting Group of New York City) came up with was they used billed water and I used master metered water. The master metered water includes lost water and hydraulic bleeds to other systems where the billed water is only what is used by customers. This skews the ratio in water between East and West.”

The consultant’s findings for 2020 projected a combined, unified rate of $4.21 per 1,000 gallons, while Hens’ came up with $3.99 per 1,000 gallons. He said the $4.21 price is an increase of 47 cents per 1,000 gallons for East customers and a savings of about 80 cents per 1,000 gallons for West customers.

Since the average house uses about 60,000 gallons of water per year, a 47-cent increase on billed water to an East customer would equate to about $30 per year.

Hens said if you project that out over the next five years, the rate in the West expands “quite quickly,” with the gap increasing to almost $2 per 1,000 gallons versus the $1.30 gap that exists now.

“One of the things that the study didn’t consider – which I’m a little disappointed in – is that we’re seeing substantial growth in water usage on the East side, especially in the next two or three years,” he said.

PROPOSED DISTRICTS TO INCREASE USAGE

Amawalk apparently didn’t “read the tea leaves” on future usage, Hens said, noting that large water districts proposed for Byron, Bergen and the Town of Bethany will use about a combined 500,000 gallons of water per day on average.

“If that usage was factored in, then the unified rate would skew more heavily toward the East rate -- and the savings in the West would be more and the impact upon the users on the East would be even less,” he said.

Hens said the study also did not consider the Center (wholesale) portion of the county, which has seen a predominant increase in water usage.

“There are several moving pieces on the Countywide Water System that either impact the rate study dramatically or the rate conversely impacts on the Phase 2 and Phase 3 projects,” he said.

Hens’ presentation drew reaction from county legislators and town officials.

Legislature Gordon Dibble, who represents Darien and Pembroke, bemoaned the fact that customers pay more in those areas, and said he hoped the study could be amended.

Water to Darien, Pembroke and Corfu comes from Erie County and already is more expensive. Hens said that the Erie County base rate for water is the “real culprit” for the difference in price.

40-YEAR AGREEMENT IN FORCE, BUT …

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein concurred, noting that the West is facing an 11-percent increase for 2021 compared to a 4.4-percent increase in the East. Again, Hens said, factors include the Erie County base rate, operational costs at the Corfu water plant and the number of gallons of water used.

Stein also pointed out that the towns agreed to the terms when they signed a 40-year water agreement as part of Phase 1.

Darien Town Supervisor Steve Ferry Jr. responded by saying he understood but brought up that the county indicated that a transmission line between Alexander and Darien was supposed to be put in but it never happened.

He, too, urged legislators to look at the entire system “and come up with a way to make it fairer for everyone.”

Going forward, Hens said a detailed discussion is on the agenda for the April 13th meeting of the Genesee County Water Resources Agency. The GCWRA was created in 1998 from the legislature’s Water Supply Task Force to assist in the implementation of water improvements for the county.

Earl LaGrou, of Alabama, GCWRA chair, said the report is essential to the future and longevity of the county water system.

FINANCIAL STABILITY IS THE KEY

“That’s what they’re trying to secure – the type of funding that is needed … to continue on with our latest phase, to help pay for that, but also water systems are not a five- or 10-year entity, they’re 30, 40, 50 years and they want to make sure there is enough cash flow to have upgrades,” he offered.

“We’re in Western New York. If there’s an emergency ice or weather-related incident where a pipe freezes, they have to have money to repair that so people aren’t without water. That’s what they’re trying to do – just get an across-the-board, easier rate that helps solidify the financial stability of the water system.”

LaGrou said GCWRA board members just received the report from Hens and will review it before making a recommendation to the Genesee County Legislature.

“Our board kind of does all the homework and we make recommendations – we don’t set forth policy,” he said. “Between now and April 13th, I’m sure that Tim will bring to us the pros and cons of the recommendation for the water rates ... so we can make an educated decision before the April 13th meeting. There may be some calls back and forth.”

That 10-member committee also includes Stein and legislators Gary Maha and Christian Yunker.

December 27, 2017 - 12:51pm

Lawyers for Genesee County and the Town of Batavia are in the final stages of drafting an amended and restated water agreement – a document that, if completed in time, will be considered by the Town Board at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road.

According to Genesee County Attorney Kevin Earl, the amended agreement that will govern the Town’s water usage will focus on making sure the municipality (and all towns and villages in the county, for that matter) understand that the county is unable to supply an unlimited amount of water and that the county has the flexibility to increase the surcharge that municipalities pay.

“The county needs the flexibility to increase the surcharge (currently at 60 cents per thousand gallons of water) and ensure that everybody pays the same price,” Earl said. “The restated agreement will have a provision that the county has to give 120 days prior notice to the towns and villages of a price increase and, as part of the master plan, explain why an increase is necessary.”

Earl is working with Batavia Town Attorney Andrew Meier on finalizing the agreement.

County Manager Jay Gsell said that the next phase in the distribution of water calls for an increase of about 2.5 million gallons per day on top of the 8.1 million gallon currently supplied to county users as a result of agreements with the Monroe County Water Authority, Erie County Water Authority and the City’s water treatment facility.

“We’re estimating a surcharge increase of 60 to 80 cents per thousand,” Gsell said, “which is to be used for water system improvements only and to pay off the debt service of $20 million from 1999-2000.”

Gsell noted that future phases over the next five to 10 years are expected to increase the supply to 15 million to 20 million gallons per day.

Should municipalities approve the amended and restated agreements over the next several weeks, the earliest date of any surcharge increase would be June 2018, Earl said, due to the 120-day notice provision.

Earl said the many industrial development projects in the county will drive up the demand for water in the future, and that the county is planning to spend the money required to meet the demand.

Those projects/sites include the STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park) site in the Town of Alabama, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, Buffalo East Tech Park, and increased need in areas such as Bethany, Alabama, Darien and Town of Batavia, as well as the possible replacement (to increase the capacity) of the City water plant.

July 21, 2016 - 4:07pm

Press release from the Monroe County Water Authority:

Boil Water Notice for Western Genesee County -- Boil Your Water Before Using

The Boil Water Notice only applies to the towns of Pembroke, Darien and the Village of Corfu.

Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) purchases its supply of water for Western Genesee County from Erie County Water Authority. A loss of pressure in northern parts of the Erie County system may affect the supply to our customers in Western Genesee County.

While the loss of pressure was never experienced in the MCWA system, we are exercising an abundance of caution and request you do not drink the water without boiling it first until we post on our website (www.mcwa.com) that we are confident there is no risk.

What should I do?

  • DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice on the MCWA website (www.mcwa.com)

What happened? What is being done?

  • The main break in Erie County has been isolated and pressure has been restored to normal. We are currently testing water quality throughout the area. This will take several days and test results will be reviewed by the Department of Health. It is likely that you will need to boil water for two or three days until we can confirm the water quality. You will be informed on our website when you no longer need to boil water.
  • We anticipate confirmation from our laboratory that there is not a problem within 48 hours.

For more information, please contact MCWA Customer Service at (585) 442-7200.

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