By Jason Emerson
The town of Nelson has received a $200,000 federal grant to be used to for a proposed infrastructure project to extend water service three miles up Route 20.
The funding, announced as part of a federal funding program to improve the economy of Upstate New York, is the first step in paying for the estimated $2.8 million project that would bring municipal water to 51 properties from approximately Stone Quarry Road in the town of Cazenovia to Empire Tractor at the top of the hill in Nelson.
“This is absolutely positive, but it’s baby steps,” said Nelson Supervisor Roger Bradstreet. “This is about one-seventh of what we really need [for funding]. We’re not done yet.”
The water line extension project is a cooperative endeavor between the town of Nelson and Cazenovia and the village of Cazenovia to extend municipal water farther up Route 20, connect to more residential and business properties, improve quality of life and spur economic development.
According to the plans, the water line would extend three miles up the median of Route 20, with branches to each property in the district, as well as a line down Trush Boulevard. The plans call for a pump station to be placed near Stone Quarry Road and a 100,000 gallon water storage tank at the highest point of the system. The location for such a tank, which would be in the town of Nelson, has yet to be determined.
The project would also bring fire service up the three-mile portion of Route 20.
The towns and Nelson of Cazenovia will be responsible for the construction of the water line and the village of Cazenovia will sell the water to be used in the new district and operate and maintain the system.
In mid-June, all three municipalities authorized the formation of a new water district to cover the proposed project area. This formation was needed in order to apply for grants to help fund the $2.8 million project.
Officials from all three municipalities agreed that unless approximately 60 percent of the project cost can be covered by grants, the project will not be undertaken.
The $200,000 in federal funding received by Nelson was allocated through the Northern Border Regional Commission’s Economic and Infrastructure Development Investment Program. It was secured by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“This funding will provide support to communities across Upstate New York, working to complete priority projects,” Schumer said in a released statement.
Other projects to receive funding from the NBRC program included projects to construct natural gas lines in Jefferson County, install new water production wells in the Town of Plattsburgh, install new water and sewer mains in the City of Fulton, redevelop safe access to rail infrastructure in St. Lawrence County, and cover subordinate loans to businesses that are creating new jobs in St. Lawrence County.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.