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TOWN BOARD TO HOLD HEARING ON SEWER DISTRICT CREATION

Residents of Highland Acres in Hamburg will get a chance to tell the Town Board Monday night where they want their sewage to be treated.

A public hearing on the formation of the proposed sewer district will be conducted at 7 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall.

Aging septic systems in the neighborhood are blamed for polluting Rush Creek, which is one source of pollution to Lake Erie at Woodlawn Beach State Park. Constructing sewers in Highland Acres will help alleviate contamination that sometimes forces the closing of the beach to swimming.

Since a public information meeting July 30, petitions in favor of the sewer district have been signed by property owners representing 59 percent of the district's total assessed value.

"This indicates that there is prevailing public support for proceeding with this matter, for which the public hearing is the next step in the formal process," Town Engineer Gerard M. Kapsiak said.

Town officials are hopeful of getting most of the cost of the sewer system covered by funds from the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act.

The maximum cost is $2,769,000. A grant from the bond act would cover 75 percent to 85 percent of the cost.

Using conservative estimates, the local share would be $885,000, which could be financed through the State Revolving Fund over 20 years with an interest rate of 3.25 percent, according to town estimates.

One thing the town has not decided is where the sewage would be treated, and officials will be looking for residents' input.

Original plans called for going to the Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Facility through the existing Electric Avenue pump station.

Some residents prefer the Erie County Southtowns Sewage Treatment facility on Lake Shore Road because costs are lower, but the construction costs are higher because a pump station would have to be constructed and maintained.

It is estimated the annual cost to the typical user would be about $489 a year. Property owners also bear the responsibility of tapping into the sewer line from their homes, at a typical cost of $1,500 to $2,000.

The Town Board is expected to form the district at a future meeting. That action would be subject to a permissive referendum.

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