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sewer2012_120The Lansing Sewer Committee attended a Planning Board meeting Monday to bring that board up to date on plans for the sewer and Town Center.  Committee member Andy Sciaraba presented details on the 10.2 million sewer project, budget, and told the board about two construction projects that are planned for parts of the 150 acre Town Center land across the street from the Town ballfields.

Board member Tom Ellis noted that Ludlowville is in need of a sewer and asked whether it is included in the proposed South Lansing sewer district.  Sciarabba explained that it will not be included in the first phase of the project because of the cost of pumping effluent uphill from the hamlet.  Board member Larry Sharpsteen noted it will be important for the committee to stress that the cost of the sewer is not paid by the whole town, but by property owners within the benefit district.  Board member Rick Prybyl noted that all residents will pay in a way because the Lansing schools are in the sewer district.  But others noted that hooking up to sewer will be less expensive for the schools than replacing two failing septic systems.

Attorney Guy Krogh explained the voting system that allows one vote per property-owner as of the time of the last election.  That system gives small property owners the same voting power as large property owners, even if there are multiple units like condominiums or apartments on a property.

"The voting system may not be fair, but it is State law and that is how we have to do it," Krogh told the board.

At their Wednesday meeting Sewer COmmittee members had more questions about the voting process.  Most agreed that the Town Board should set a day for a referendum in which district residents can vote on whether or not to form the sewer district, rather than using a permissive referendum that is only held if a qualifying petition is presented to the Town Board within 30 days of the board voting the district into existence.

Supervisor Kathy Miller  said the committee should hold as many public information meetings about the sewer as possible, and that at least some of them should be on Saturdays when more people can attend.  CJ DelVecchio brought a draft of a PowerPoint presentation the committee will use in the public meetings that includes 'Frequently Asked Questions' and answers to all sewer questions the committee has anticipated so far.

NRP Group flew Miller, Sciarabba, and Lansing Engineering and Planning Coordinator Jeff Overstrom to Wheatfield, NY and Cincinnati, OH to look at completed projects NRP and Calimar have completed.  NRP has proposed an affordable senior housing building for the Lansing Town Center, and Calimar wants to build a market-rate apartment complex for seniors.

"I feel a lot better about who we're dealing with after seeing these projects," Sciarabba said.

He added that the Planning Board meeting was a good trial run for the public meetings that can now be scheduled.  He said that the project is nearly ready to go to a vote of the Town Board, which he hopes will happen in September.

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