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Town lift stations need emergency generators

It looks like the town may interrupt its program of refurbishing sewer lift stations in 2007 to purchase emergency power generators for the stations.

Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon told the Town Board last week that the October snowstorm revealed a need for backup power to keep sewers functioning at the Lincoln Village, Robinson Road and Kimberly Drive stations

There are 38 sewer pumping stations in the town. Klavoon said 18 were rehabilitated in 2001, and since then the town has been improving two or three each year.

The 2007 budget allocates $400,000 for sewer rehabilitation. Klavoon said the Lincoln Village station is scheduled for rehabilitation this year, but it also needs a generator. He suggested doing that work and installing generators at Robinson Road and Kimberly Drive, while delaying other rehabilitation work until 2008.

"I'd just take the two [Robinson and Kimberly] and just put generators on and just wing it," said Councilman Paul H. Pettit. "They're not undersized. . . . The one at Lincoln Village we'd better fix."

Rehabilitation would be delayed a year at pump stations at the Niagara County Jail, the town's industrial park on Upper Mountain Road, and on Keck and Strauss roads.

Pettit estimated the generators would cost $50,000 each. Klavoon said rehabilitation at Lincoln Village might cost $250,000. That, plus three generators, would wipe out the 2007 sewer rehabilitation budget.

The board instructed Klavoon to obtain specific costs, but sewers aren't the only place the town is concerned about backup power.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the town ought to buy emergency pumps and portable generators to be stored at the Highway Department garage until needed.

He said the cost of three 3-inch pumps, three 2-inch pumps and six 5,500-watt generators would be $7,762, based on state contract pricing. The October storm showed a need not only for pumping out water and sewage in some locations, but for keeping traffic signals functioning at some of the town's busier intersections.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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