City seeks $7M in grants for Clinton Avenue water and sewer project

CORTLAND, N.Y. – With water and sewer lines more than a century old, the city of Cortland is seeking roughly $7 million in state grant funding to reconstruct sewer and storm water systems underneath Clinton Avenue.


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As part of that effort, the City of Cortland Common Council voted Tuesday to authorize the issuance of nearly $6 million in serial bonds to finance the cost of rebuilding those systems.

Mack Cook, the city's director of administration and finance, says Tuesday's vote demonstrates to state officials the "project readiness" of the work.

"The state is trying to identify projects that are so mature and so put together that they can move," Cook said.

Cook says engineering studies have shown the infrastructure beneath Clinton Avenue has outlived its useful life.

"We have systems under Clinton Avenue that were constructed between 1904 and 1927," Cook said. "They either have failed or are failing."

The city is applying for $7 million in grants through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, which provides grants to municipalities in funding water quality and sewer infrastructure projects.

If awarded the grants, that money would be used to reimburse the funds the city would need to borrow to fund the project.

If the city is not awarded the grant money, Cook says it would be up to city lawmakers to decide whether or not to move forward with the project.

Cook says the grant application requires a bond resolution. He says he expects the state to announce grant recipients by the end of 2015.


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