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Town of Lockport adding roads to $14M waterline project

LOCKPORT - The Town Board is adding more roads to a $14.1 million plan to install new water pipes and water meters.

The board decided informally at Wednesday's work session to add more roads to the project first laid out in January 2014, and also to begin replacing water meters, because some work already completed has come in under budget. The total cost of the package won't change.

Roads being added to the plan for new waterlines include all or part of Upper Mountain, Purdy, Leete, Bowmiller and Slayton Settlement roads, for which contracts are to be awarded after bids are opened Oct. 27.

A project near the intersection of Wicks and Slayton Settlement roads also is being added to the work plan for next year, along with the replacement of more than 1,000 of the town's 6,200 residential water meters. Junction and Ernest roads also are slated for new waterlines in the next two years.

Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon said long-range plans to repair water service on Keck Road have been pushed back to the 2022-24 period, and a $1.8 million plan to replace a main on Beattie Avenue may be scrapped altogether, since plans for residential development on that street seems to have been dropped.

A large lot on Beattie Avenue which had been approved for a subdivision was instead donated to the Lockport City School District for development of athletic fields after the state Department of Environmental Conservation objected to building houses on a parcel containing protected wetlands.

The $225,000 water meter purchase will take two or three years to carry out, Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said.

Klavoon said he'd like to dispose of meters with moving parts and replace them with ultrasonic meters that run on batteries that are supposed to last 20 years. He said those units also are more accurate than the older meters, which wear out and become less accurate each year. Thus, the town could earn more water revenue without raising rates if it installs better meters, Klavoon said.

The town hasn't carried out a large-scale water meter replacement program since 2007. Klavoon said the homes selected will be those where more accurate bills are most likely to help the town pay off the cost of the meters within 12 years.

"To actually replace them all would cost about a million dollars," Councilman Paul W. Siejak said.

The board is to hold a public hearing Dec. 7 on the changes to the water plan. The town has been paying for it through shorter-term borrowing, but Klavoon said the first $3.5 million of that will be converted to 20-year bonds in December, with an estimated interest rate of 3 percent.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

 

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