As part of an overall effort to make Chautauqua County's industrial parks "shovel-ready," a sewer line upgrade for the Airport Hill Park near Jamestown is well under way.
County Executive Mark W. Thomas said the project will connect the sewer collection system on Airport Hill to the city Board of Public Utilities transmission system.
Richard Alexander, director of the county's Industrial Development Agency, noted the purpose is to increase sewer capacity, allowing more development.
"The sewage-treatment plant was at near capacity, and the feeling was if we were ever to have business expansion, or business construction, we would have to increase capacity," said Alexander. "So, we'll be tying in the sewer treatment (facility) with the Jamestown BPU."
Currently, he said, sewer pipe is being laid on Turner Road and Marvin Parkway, with work to begin on Route 60 shortly. Alexander estimated all the work should be completed within a couple of months.
"This is probably our best example of our dedication to infrastructure improvements to our (industrial) parks, which began last summer," said Alexander. "The county Legislature approved a bond for $5.6 million, and our hope is that current businesses will grow, and new businesses will be attracted here based on having shovel-ready sites."
Thomas credited intermunicipal cooperation with getting the project off the ground. He said construction meetings are taking place weekly, with Town of Ellicott and Board of Public Utilities staff offering input on the project.
The upgrading of industrial park infrastructure, Thomas said, is part of his goal of creating an economic environment conducive to creation of family-sustaining jobs.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi indicated that business-ready sites are important to the city's success in rebuilding its neighborhoods and boosting its downtown areas.
"The BPU is playing a key role in this project because, while it is outside Jamestown's city limits, it will attract new industrial investment that will ultimately benefit the city," said Teresi.
Ellicott Town Supervisor Patrick Tyler, in supporting the industrial park bond, said last fall it was "imperative" that new infrastructure, including "much-needed sewers," be developed for remaining development sites at Airport Hill.
In addition to the bond, Thomas noted the sewer line project is also being funded by a $300,000 grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.