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Lansing Sewer

The Village of Lansing Board of Trustees approved a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Monday that clears the way for a new sewer district in the Town of Lansing.  The new town sewer will connect to the Village of Lansing sewer system to transport material to the Village of Cayuga Heights Sewer treatment plant.  Two new developments south of Asbury Road plus The RINK will comprise Town of Lansing Sewer District #1 when the new sewer is constructed.  The MOU had previously been approved by the Town Board and the Village of Cayuga Heights.

"This will, hopefully, increase our tax base," said Lansing Supervisor Ed LaVigne..  Wouldn't it be nice to keep growing where the Comprehensive Plan wants us to grow, and to follow its guidance on growth in the south, leaving our ag land alone in the north?  This is what we're doing right now, along with increasing infrastructure in our water lines.  As we continue to increase our tax base, we look to decrease our tax rate."

In essence the MOU reserves sewer treatment capacity for use by the Town of Lansing.  Village of Lansing Mayor says development is constrained by the plant already being close to its capacity, and told trustees Monday that recent severe rain puts the plant at risk of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation scrutiny.

"My understanding is that the rain event on Friday the Cayuga Heights treatment Plant's flow was 9 million gallons per day," Hartill said.  "It has a 2 million gallons per day treatment capacity.  The DEC gets nervous if it exceeds 5 million gallons per day more than once per month.  The reason (the specified capacity in the MOU) an issue is the Cayuga Heights treatment Plant is getting nervous about the DEC coming down on their case.  So far they've been lucky that the peak flows haven't happened twice in a month.  We shall see how this all plays out."

Town Sewer District #1

LaVigne says the next step is to meet with developers of the proposed 102 unit Cayuga Farms (rental town homes) and 117 unit English Village 59 town homes and 58 single family homes) projects to report that the project is ready for the next step.  That will be obtaining easements from property owners on the West side of North Triphammer Road from the location in the south where the new sewer will hook into the Village of Lansing's system to the large field between Michaleen's and Asbury Road that will be the site of the Cayuga Farms.

Hartill noted that excess storm water leaking or being routed into the waste water system inflates the measurement of effluent being treated.  He says that stricter enforcement of sump pump outflow and similar issues may become necessary.  LaVigne adds that there is an infiltration and infill problem, but the new Town system will have meters installed and a new infrastructure that will insure better metering of the Town's usage.  Meanwhile both the Village of Lansing's sewer infrastructure and the treatment plant are showing their age.

"The problem is that all of the systems are getting long in the tooth," Hartill says.  "There is infiltration of ground water into the system, which then transports it to the treatment plant."

LaVigne says that fees paid by the Town to the Village for transporting sewer material will help upgrade that infrastructure.  Current fees paid by the Town to the Village for the Cherry Road and Warren Road sewer districts come to about $10,000 per year.  Hartill said fees for the new town sewer would be about that amount, and the money would be used to maintain and improve the existing village sewer.

The Village of Cayuga Heights attorney adjusted an earlier draft of the MOU before passing the revised version.  The earlier version measured the Town's allotment in more than 102 dwelling units, rather than gallons per day.

As long as the new district stays within the 33,050 gallons a day cap it may be possible for other property owners along the path of the pipe to hook up.  LaVigne has said that only properties that actually hook up to the sewer will be charged, and that the initial cost of building the sewer will be paid by the Cayuga Farms, English Village, and the RINK developers.

LaVigne stresses the agreement is win-win-win for the three municipalities.  He says the Town benefits because it will encourage development of new projects that will expand the tax rolls to make up for, and eventually exceed the loss of revenue caused by significantly more than $100 million of the taxable value of the Cayuga Power Plant.

The Lansing Town Board approved it at their meeting last month.  Monday's Village of Lansing approval finalized that stage of getting new sewer to the Town.  After the 4-0 vote LaVigne thanked the Village Trustees for supporting the agreement.

"This is the final piece of the three-municipality agreement," he said.  "It's a good day for everyone."

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