By Ann Belcher
BROCTON - Decision time is looming for the Brocton Village Board to make a decision on the direction of their water plant upgrade.
Professional engineer Rex Tolman attended the recent meeting to give a pre-emptive summary to the board on just what the village is looking at.
"If you look at the executive summary of the engineering report, it gives you a chance to see what we would be doing. It would include water supply improvements at the plant; chemical feed buildings, three contracts depending on what's OK with Environmental Facilities Corporation, maybe four contracts, including the building work at the plant," stated Tolman.
The one thing that may have to be sacrificed as part of the project, according to the engineer, will be the length of the water main that was scheduled to be included.
"Where we're putting main in, from the plant to in front of the building, replacing 12-inch main, we're at about $2.4 million for water supply; $500,000 for chemical feed; and $2 million for water main. The original package was drawn up with 2009/2010 estimates, but the good thing is we're getting calls from contractors who are checking to see if we're going to have work to bid out. With that in mind, our estimated bid time will be the best we can get. That brings us to a $4.9 million total, making us $1.4 million over budget. Sometimes if it's just over by a little, they'll give you some room in there." stated Tolman.
Mayor Dave Hazelton stressed the importance of choosing a direction noting, "We have to make a decision about where we're going by March 2014 for funding to be available, and have to have the work in progress before September 2014."
The meeting was held prior to the announcement of the state funding being available to the north county regional development group and Brocton's board held an informational workshop Tuesday to iron out what details needed to be in place in order to go out for bid on its own project.
Coming out of the workshop, the mayor added, "We know where we are and where we need to be as far as this project goes. This is a very real issue, because we'll lose our hardship status in September of next year, so we would have to start the project by March in order to keep that."
With regional water in the scope of the future for Brocton's water consumers, and the availability of funding for Brocton's own project at the ready, the mayor noted the board hadn't officially made a decision as of Tuesday.
"There's no doubt we're going to continue to provide good water to our customers, whether it's from a regional system or from our own source. We are providing good water right now, we would like to be able to enhance that and provide excellent quality water. If we did move forward with a regional system, we would still need to make sure that we're providing that same quality of water to our customers," stated Hazelton.
Along with shoring up current bid specifications to meet the funding standards, the water contract with New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is something that would need to return to the table. With regional water's future remaining unknown until now, the contract has been tabled so far.
The question of whether or not Brocton stood to lose any terms of that contract since it has been tabled was posed to Hazelton, who responded, "I'm confident it can be resolved by the end of the year. We were very close before and either side didn't want to give. In a contract situation, everyone tries to get the best deal and sometimes you can't get everything you want."
Even if Brocton does move forward into the future of regional water, a project that the village has supported right along, the mayor noted they can still go out to bid, see where the numbers come in, and elect to reject those bids at that point.
"Our relationship with NYSDOCCS dates back to the '80s and is an ongoing relationship. We have to have a contract in place to satisfy the funding agency the only thing they're mainly concerned with is that a contract is in place and that it runs the same length as the project's indebtedness. The entire board is aware of where we're at and what needs to be done. That's the benefit to holding workshops, so that we can sit down at a greater length of time than bi-monthly meetings and discuss these things."