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A third attempt in 10 years to stop sewage from polluting streams and ground water in the Clarence Hollow area is nearing the project proposal stage, Clarence officials said Wednesday night.

Clarence Town Board members met with consulting engineer William Schutt on a sanitary sewer project that is being readied for submission to the state Department of Environmental Conservation by the end of July.

Under the current timetable, cost projections for property owners in and around the hamlet in the southeastern part of Clarence may be available by May 20, officials said.

Failing septic systems in the Clarence Hollow area first came to light in the late 1970s, when the DEC filed "consent orders" against about 10 Main Street property owners.

In 1983, voters in Clarence Hollow and Harris Hill approved a $9.5 million plan. However, bids on rehabilitating hundreds of backyard septic systems came in as much as 250 percent above estimates in the fall of 1985. A new engineer concluded the projects weren't practical.

Clarence officials later proposed a $26.4 million project with traditional gravity sewers, but it was defeated by voters in 1988.

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