Village, town coordinate on water system

— The Skaneateles village water system has completed its ultraviolet water filtration system and is moving forward with its plans to tie-in village water to the town, the village board of trustees announced at their Aug. 9 meeting.

“For all intents and purposes we are done with the UV system,” said Bob Lotkowictz, director of municipal operations.

The UV filtration system installation was a project mandated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to treat unfiltered drinking water such as Skaneateles Lake. While the total project took years to complete, actual implementation began last August and was completed on schedule at the end of March. Since then, the water department has been busy learning how to operate the system, making tweaks and addressing typical post-construction issues, Lotkowictz said.

“We are fully approved by the state Department of Health,” said Mayor Marty Hubbard.

Hubbard added that the UV system will not increase village water rates and the financing costs of the project will rollover to residents’ water bills. That fee will replace a soon-to-expire fee currently on water bills — listed as “cont time,” — from a 1995 capital improvement project bond. The elimination of the old fee should balance with the addition of the new fee.

The UV system cost $800,000 in total project costs, but much of the bill was offset by state and federal grants. The remaining balance will be absorbed by customers.

Hubbard also announced that village and town officials submitted a local government efficiency grant application to the New York State Department of State last week to offset costs involved in the UV system. The grant was for $400,000 — $200,000 each for the village and the town — and Hubbard complimented Lotkowictz, village clerk Patty Couch and Town Supervisor Terri Roney for completing the application process.

“It has taken an awful lot of work behind the scenes to get this done,” Hubbard said.

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