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Village of Skaneateles takes steps to address fire flow issue

Following the initial letter from the health department, the village municipal board met on April 24 to discuss a $1.93 million capital project that they recommended the village board move forward with “as soon as possible.”

The project was formulated by GHD after the village had paid them $50,000 to study the village water system and develop strategies to improve fire flow. It involves replacing a number of water mains with new pipes that will be wider in diameter.

Lotkowictz recently wrote a letter, dated Oct. 8, to the health department updating them on the village’s intended course of action, which includes multiple planned strategies of action.

In the letter he states that the village has already opened an emergency bypass water valve in the water plant and reconfigured several valves at the village’s storage tank site to improve the available storage for firefighting by 175,000 gallons. The village was able to get special permission to open the bypass valve in August in part due to the effectiveness of its ultraviolet disinfection system installed last year.

He also laid out a timeline that the village plans to follow in taking on the recommended capital project, which will be split into two phases. The first phase will go out to bid in November and construction will begin the spring of 2014, the second phase will take place in either 2014 or 2015, Lotkowictz said in the letter.

The village board most recently discussed the project at a work session last spring in which it decided to postpone a capital improvement project for West Lake Street to take on projects that it deemed to be of higher priority including the water system improvements.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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