Standing room only: Residents pack meeting on sewer initiative

Those who missed the special meeting of the Sullivan Town Council at Bridgeport Elementary School Oct. 17 will get a second chance. The meeting, videotaped by PAC 99, the area's public access television station, will be aired at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 27.

About 150 residents packed the cafeteria and crowded doorways and halls to hear the public information meeting regarding the Bridgeport Sewer Initiative, which Supervisor John M. Becker has been working overtime to get funded and underway. His aim is to get sewers along the remainder of the south shore of Oneida Lake through Hitchcock Point.

The initiative was strongly recommended in the town's comprehensive plan completed in 2004 and adopted earlier this year.

Becker said the project is necessary to promote the growth needed to support the town and lower taxes.

"The Oot [Harbor Lights] project alone will assess out at $38 million," Becker said. "These aren't homes that are going to attract people with children and place a burden on our schools. That project alone will put $127,000 into town coffers and $950,000 into our schools. The same type of situation is expected at Fisher Bay."

"We had quite a lot of requests for sewers before Mastriano's proposal," said Dep. Supervisor Bill Cole, "so not everyone up there is against it."

Engineer Ken Knutsen with Barton & Loguidice presented the scenarios explored this year, explaining their costs and methods. He handed out income survey forms to support the town's federal grant eligibility application. The entire installation, proposed in two phases to be completed consecutively but included under the same project, is expected to cost about $14 million.

"The biggest challenge is going to be funding, so I'm going to ask for your help tonight," Knutsen said. "We're going to try to use this information for our grant proposal."

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