OLEAN — City officials OK’d a $1.35 million bond to get Washington Street a new water line and driving surface.

The Common Council unanimously approved the bond to pay for a new water line along the 200 block of North Fourth Street, then west along Washington Street to the 12-inch main at North 10th Street.

The project has a budget of $1.3 million, including a 15% contingency and 5% field change, city Department of Public Works Director Bob Ring said. Along with the cost of selling the bond, the total comes to $1.35 million.

“It’s roughly 4,000 feet of water line,” Ring said, between mains and service lines to residences.

The mains will be 8-inch and 4-inch lines, replacing the corroded 4-inch lines now which are so full of rust and sediment they act like 2-inch lines.

In addition, the road will be milled and paved, much to the elation of residents who use the rough street.

A request for proposals is expected to go out later this summer, with a bid opening anticipated for Aug. 15. Then, the city will work with the contractor to see what work can be completed before the winter.

“I think at least half, if not a significant part of the project will be in the spring,” Ring said.

The council also approved a State Environmental Quality Review of the project, issuing a declaration that the project would not have a significant negative impact on the environment.

GRANT APPLICATIONS to help with infrastructure projects were also backed by the council on Tuesday.

A $1.08 million sewer syphon replacement project is under development, Ring said, and he asked the council to approve a Consolidated Funding Application to seek state help. If successful, the grant funds would come from the state Department of Environmental Conservation Water Quality Improvements Program.

The grant would cover up to 75% of the project’s cost, Ring said, “which leaves us a local match of around $270,500.”

That amount could come from the fund balance for the sewer system — which has around $1.5 million on hand. Such a move would not impact sewer system user’s rates.

The project would replace the underwater sewer syphon system that has been transporting waste from the south side of the river since the 1920s, Ring said, and instead hang a new line under the South Union Street bridge. That would make leaks more detectable, and would make repairs easier.

“We did a similar project about five years ago near Bradner Stadium,” Ring said. “I believe this is the last underwater crossing we have in the city.”

The project is one of the priorities in the city’s sewer system master plan, and “technically, we are still under consent order” to continue with the plan.

“This is maybe a two-year project,” Ring said,

A second CFA grant application will be submitted to cover half of a $40,000 water distribution system plan. The plan would lay out proposed improvements to the system, as well as extensions into neighborhoods in adjacent towns without access to municipal water.

“We need more customers,” Crawford said, which would lessen the burden of rising costs on individual water users, as well as using the higher capacity of the water filtration plant after a 2000 overhaul.

Ring said that Cattaraugus County has offered to provide necessary matching funds for other grants, and the city has asked the county for the $20,000 local share.

(Contact reporter-editor Bob Clark at bclark@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)

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