Village moves forward with review for grant funding of water tank

(Photo via Unsplash).

Barton & Loguidice, the Syracuse-based engineering firm selected to oversee the village of Homer’s upgrades to water infrastructure, are a step closer to applying for important funding that would cover the costs of a new water tank.

The engineering firm provided an update at Tuesday’s village board meeting on the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) form the village will have to send to the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to seek approval on grant funding from the agency’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Program (WIIA).

The village is still on track to submit the funding application for up to $5,000 by July 28. As part of their larger project to upgrade water infrastructure, the village is seeking to replace the weathered water tank with a concrete one, as well as renovate the four pump stations at the following locations

  • Hudson Street
  • Brentwood Drive
  • North Main Street
  • Willow Park Drive

The project is also set to replace the controls and electric fixtures at the stations on Albany Street, Hooker Avenue, North Main Street and Wall Street.

The overall project to modernize the infrastructure would cost around $5.5 million to improve the village’s 50-year-old sewer infrastructure.

All told, the project would renovate all but one of the village’s nine pump stations.

The overhauls will be financed via a mixture of both grants and loans, including a no-interest loan of $1.7 million, and about $1.9 million in state grants.

Construction is set to start sometime in the near future.

Jacqueline Novak, an employee of Barton & Loguidice, said Tuesday the SEQR form used to submit the WIIA grant application is set.

“We put it together on our end,” she said. “We looked at zoning for the area for the tank which is residential zoning, but there is a tank there, so it won’t change much about the property use.”

Novak said three acres of land will have to deal with noise during the replacement of the tank. 

“There is a construction period of only one season, with equipment that can cause some increase in noise for that construction period during normal working days,” she noted, reading off the SEQR form.

Novak noted the project will be outside of designated flood zones. 

“No concerns there,” she added.

The DEC website listed the monarch butterfly and the long-eared bats as species in the area that could be considered endangered. Additionally, deputy mayor Patrick Clune noted that the form also lists the yellow lampmussel as an endangered species. Clune said the inclusion of the aquatic creature was puzzling due to the tank being technically on a hill area.

“There are no water streams nearby,” Clune said. “Why do we have it out here?”

Taylor Bottar, also an employee at Barton & Loguidice, clarified that the company included it since the species is listed on the DEC website as an endangered species in that specific area.

“Whether we list the species on the form or not, that would be determined by DEC in a permit application that is separate from SEQR,” Bottar said. “We are going to include it so no one can question us later on in the process.”

The SEQR form calls for the applicant to list parks within five miles of the proposed project site. Clune noted the form would likely include Casterlien Pond, Alber J. Durkee Memorial Park, Newton Waterworks Park, Yaman Park and Beaudry Park.

The application is set to be submitted in July after a 30-day SEQR process, Novak said.