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Examination of water project continues

Aurora town officials are considering a proposed $13.9 million water project that would tie into parts of Wales and Holland and nearly complete public water service throughout Aurora.

Aurora Town Engineer Bryan Smith gave a brief overview of the proposal Monday night, noting that the State Environmental Facilities Corp. will help finance the work with 30-year, low-interest loans.

The three-town project, under review for two years, would bring public water to eastern Aurora along Reuter and Lapham roads, as well as Blakely Road.

The proposal includes two water districts in Wales -- one serving 273 developed and 49 undeveloped parcels in the Wales Center area along Route 20A and another that would bring water to 84 South Wales developed properties and seven undeveloped parcels.

The project also includes a new water line into Holland, which would replace wells for 300 customers.

Each of the communities will hold a public hearings, with Aurora's scheduled for Oct. 3.

If residents approve the project, Smith said Aurora would be "very close" to having public water service throughout the town.

The project would mean water lines would serve about 95 percent of Aurora. A small area near Knox State Park still would lack it, he said.

Referendums are likely to be scheduled late this year. If voters approve, construction would begin late next year, at earliest.

In another water-related matter, the Town Board approved temporary water rates of 85 cents daily or $75 per quarter for Water District 18 residents, until water meters are installed later this year.

The board again heard John Hughes, a Town Board candidate in the November election, criticize potential condominium status for the proposed Quaker Road patio homes project.

"There's a lot of open land in Aurora that could be generating tax dollars," Hughes said. "There are alternative residential developments that could be considered. We should be seeking developments where property owners pay fully for the services they receive."

Town officials reiterated that Legacy Development of Amherst has not filed a formal application for the project.

Board members Jeffrey Harris and Norman Suttell said they favored the project but oppose any tax breaks.


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