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B'ville receives Save the Rain grant

— I recently sat down with Mayor Joseph Saraceni at the B’ville Diner to learn about what is new in the village. While he gave me an update on the Village Square project (sidewalks should be in within the month then topsoil and seed will be spread) and this weekend’s Carp Tournament (Joe will participate as a local celebrity), the breaking news was the village receiving a $492,000 Save the Rain grant.

Run by the county, the Save the Rain program is a comprehensive storm water management plan intended to reduce pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries (read more at savetherain.us/about). Originally focused on the city, county officials recently expanded the program to include the suburbs of Syracuse.

Village officials applied for the grant about two months ago, requesting $700,000, Joe said. While they didn’t receive the entire amount, “we were by far the largest award,” he added.

The County Executive approved Baldwinsville’s grant as well as several others last week. Now the County Legislature has to approve it.

The village will use the funds to reconstruct Lock Street turning it into a two-way boulevard with a rain garden in the median. That way, when water runs off the hill, it will hit the rain garden rather than running directly into the river along with all the debris and chemicals collected along the way.

Suburban projects such as Baldwinsville’s are aimed at reducing storm water impacts on over burdened and aging sanitary sewer systems and pump stations. This will ultimately help Onondaga County to comply with a federal court order requiring the capture of 250 million gallons of storm water per year via green infrastructure by 2018.

“This says a lot for working with the county as well as utilizing a Smart Growth plan of development,” Joe said, adding, “As a riverfront community, we have a responsibility to manage storm water run off and this is going to help us do that. It will also help to reconstruct an old street in an area that holds a lot of potential for redevelopment.”

Mayor Saraceni and Editor Wisneski are scheduled to meet for coffee again at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 22, at Canal Walk Café, 23 Syracuse St., B’ville. Community members are welcome to join them for coffee and address concerns about the village with the mayor or send your questions to editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com and Editor Wisneski will ask the mayor for you.

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