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Batavia seeks grant funds for sanitary sewer project, storm sewer master plan

BATAVIA – The City of Batavia is looking to tap into a portion of a $25 million Community Development Block Grant stream to fund a sanitary sewer project and a storm sewer master plan.

City Manager Jason R. Molino said he will recommend that the City Council apply for between $300,000 and $400,000 under the block grant public infrastructure category to pay for a State Street sanitary sewer siphon elimination project that would begin in 2016, and for $50,000 under the planning category to evaluate the city’s existing storm sewer system and develop a plan for its maintenance.

The larger grant would cover the total cost of the project while the smaller grant would fund up to 95 percent of the total cost.

Molino said his recommendation will be that the city contributes 10 percent – or $5,000 – should it receive the full $50,000.

“Generally speaking, the city will commit more than the minimum local match requirement to show that we are invested in a project,” he said.

“With the sanitary sewer project, we will show in our application that we already have a design plan in place.”

The block grant program provides funding for small communities – municipalities under 50,000 people and counties under 200,000 – to undertake projects that create jobs and improve public infrastructure and facilities.

Eligible municipalities must show that at least 51 percent of the population that benefits from these grants are in low- to moderate-income households. Molino said he expects income surveys in the State Street area, north from Lewis Place, will meet the eligibility standard.

Molino said the sewer project, which is part of the city’s capital improvement plan, includes eliminating a sanitary siphon and storm sewer obstacle along a section of the State Street sanitary sewer line.

The storm sewer master plan focuses on what is known as the big ditch drainage area that extends from north of the city to the Town of Batavia. Molino said stormwater from a 900-acre area north of the city and a 360-acre area in the city collects into the big ditch.

A public hearing on the matter was scheduled for Tuesday night, but no one from the community showed up. Molino said he will prepare resolutions reflecting his recommendations for the Council to consider at its next meeting on Monday.