It may be cliché, but it is wise to make hay while the sun shines.
While it wasn’t exactly the phrase he used, Wightman Senior Civil Engineer Frank Rinaldi implied as much during his presentation to the Marcellus Village Council on Tuesday, May 23. Rinaldi, project manager for the current water project underway throughout the village, presented a proposal to seek additional funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in order to replace water mains, create a metering station at Bluegill Estates, and replace the village’s aging water treatment plant.
Many of the items in the proposed project were cut from the original 2021 DWSRF Project Plan in order to restrain overall costs. However, the need to complete the project is imperative not only to avoid issues arising from “aged and failing infrastructure,” but to apply for and receive funding while it is still available.
The proposal for the $4.1 million project is based on three needs: water mains, a water metering station, and the water treatment plant.
According to Rinaldi’s application packet,
1. The Village has 1930s cast iron water mains which have reached the end of their service life. North Street, Elm Street, and Monroe Street all require replacement to avoid critical failure. There is a history of water main breaks on Monroe Street. North Street and Elm Street are of the same material and vintage as Monroe Street.
2. A new water meter was purchased for Bluegill Estates, it requires a new metering station to allow temporary bypassing of the meter for future maintenance. New water meters are also in need of replacement at all service connections due to the discrepancy between billed water and pumped water causing a loss of revenue.
3. Filtration was added to the water treatment plant in 1963/1964 and the filters and pumps are near the end of their useful life as evidenced by a rust-through failure in one of the filters. The majority of critical components of the WTP are in fair to poor condition and are scheduled for replacement and/or repair within this project’s planning period. If these improvements are not performed within the proposed work, the result would be emergency repairs at higher cost and could result in improper filtration causing violations of Maximum Contaminant Levels in the water system.
Village residents should rest assured that financing for the proposed project will not raise water rates. However, if funding is not sought and the project is not completed, the future replacement costs could be well over $10 million. Therefore, make hay while the sun shines.
If the DWSRF application is successful, construction is expected to begin in August 2024 and completed by November 2025. Therefore, orange cones are our friends.
In other business, the Planning Commission and Council approved the updated Master Plan, which will soon be available on the Village’s website. And as President Dennis Irwin says, “We’re in the Tailgater business.”
As of this writing, the Village was still waiting for the signed warranty deed that will transfer ownership of the Tailgater building to the village. The Council is working in tandem with the Downtown Development Authority to cover the approximately $30 thousand in costs of acquiring the building. The DDA has committed $15 thousand to the purchase. Once the purchase is complete, the building will undergo remediation for any existing environmental issues associated with the structure. The building is not coming down.