FRANKLINVILLE — The Village of Franklinville has been working on plans to upgrade it’s wastewater treatment plant for more than two years.

On Monday, New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture had awarded $6 million in funding for the project.

The wastewater treatment plant was built in the 1950s and is due for an upgrade, said Franklinville Mayor Harvey Soulvie. The village board had applied for funding, but had not heard about the funding until Monday.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been encouraging the village to undertake the upgrades — a new chlorine treatment system and treatment plant infrastructure — for some time, the mayor said.

The USDA funding is a $1.25 million grant, and the rest in the form of low-interest loans, Soulvie said. “We wish the project could be funded in its entirety by grants but that is not the case.

“We’re hoping to go out to bid for the project in late September or early October,” Soulvie said.

The mayor said the plant was over-sized when it was built to account for future growth.

As a result, the village sewage treatment plant will be able to handle all the sewage from the proposed Great Lakes Cheese plant along Route 16 between Franklinville and Farmersville, Soulvie said.

“We’ve spoken with company officials about it and are very encouraged,” he said, adding, “We probably won’t break ground by spring, but there are some things that can be done inside the plant prior to that time.”

Franklinville’s $6 million grant/loan funding was part of $24.9 million in funding announced for five communities across the state. It was the only Cattaraugus County project announced by the New York senators.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants and will be used to reduce health and sanitary deficiencies, improve stormwater management and extend public water service to residents living without access to safe and reliable potable water.

“Every New Yorker deserves reliable access to clean drinking water,” Schumer said. “This federal funding will allow towns and villages across Upstate New York to make critical improvements to their water systems, to ensure that all residents have access to the safe and clean water they deserve.”

Gillibrand said, “This funding will provide critical upgrades to waste management systems across Upstate New York and improve the health, welfare and safety of residents living in these rural communities.”

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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