Cortland officials authorize stormwater project; cost is over $350,000 at minimum

Court Street in the city of Cortland. (Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

The City of Cortland Common Council on Tuesday authorized a stormwater project that is predicted to cost over $350,000 at minimum.

The city will now execute a supplemental agreement with CCI Companies, Inc. – the company that’s been working on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) project for the past couple years – for storm sewer system installation on Court Street for at least $370,000 and to not exceed $503,000.

The stormwater project will coincide with the ongoing DRI project, which is slated to continue this spring, said city department of public works (DPW) superintendent Nic Dovi. The city plans to cover costs of the stormwater project by utilizing the funding in place for the DRI project. Dovi noted that if funds run out prior to the completion of the DRI project, the city will look to secure a bond.

Nic Dovi, the city’s department of public works superintendent, speaks at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. (Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

Dovi cited the agreement with CCI came after “major utility conflicts” with National Grid. The city had plans for a bigger stormwater pipe on Court Street, but Dovi said that electrical duct banks on the top and bottom of an old pipe refrained from that taking place.

“We can’t make (the pipe) any bigger because the utilities were not exactly where the utility company said they were,” Dovi said, noting the pipe is a specific size designed to handle a majority of the stormwater in the downtown area.

The city asked National Grid to come up with a solution, but Dovi noted the agreement with CCI made more sense.

“That (National Grid) solution was drastically more money than this solution (with CCI), and was also probably going to push our (DRI) schedule off…to the point where we wouldn’t be anywhere near finishing the project this year,” Dovi said.

Dovi said that alterations to the storm sewer system will now include moving it to the northside of Court Street near the Main Street intersection, which will run through Court Street near Church Street.

“It’s unfortunate, but you don’t know what is going on underground until you get in there,” Dovi said, referring to the utility conflicts. “This was the way to go in order to keep the project moving forward.”

CCI initially had smaller projects attached to the stormwater project in the proposed agreement, but Dovi said his DPW crew will handle the minor work. The work includes tree trimming, holding poles and more.

With an agreement in place, Dovi said the majority of the DRI project is “substantially in line” to be completed by Labor Day of this year. Projects include paving the roads downtown, curbing and other work.

“We’re trying to get a good product, do a few of the things ourselves and avoid a situation without breaking the bank,” Dovi said.