Seth Jensen

Director of Municipal Utilities Seth Jensen speaks during Thursday's Auburn City Council meeting. 

AUBURN — The Auburn City Council postponed voting on a resolution that, if approved, would give the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council full administration of the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program. 

In 2011, the city of Auburn, the town of Owasco and Cayuga County agreed to support the watershed inspection program until the management council "would be able to assume full and ongoing administration" of the inspection program, according to Auburn City Council agreement resolution No. 162. 

The management council, which was granted non-profit status in January, is now ready to take on full administrative responsibly for the program, according to the resolution. 

There was no discussion during Thursday night's council meeting about why council members wanted to table the resolution. Following the meeting, City Manager Jeff Dygert said the council supports the concept of the agreement, but has issues with some administrative and language matters.  

According to the agreement between Auburn, Owasco, Cayuga County and the management council, the inspection program would have an annual budget of $167,000. As part of the agreement, Auburn will provide the program with $150,000 every year. The town of Owasco would provide the rest of the money through charges associated with Owasco residents' water bills. The council's non-profit status also allows them to apply for more grant funding. 

In August, the management council voted to approve assuming full administrative responsibility for the inspection program. The town of Owasco approved their part of the resolution, as well.  

The agreement is on its way to final approval in the Cayuga County Legislature. During Thursday night's Health and Human Services Committee meeting, legislators passed a resolution authorizing the agreement. The resolution will move to the Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 21 before going to the full Legislature on Nov. 28.

Dygert said the resolution will come back before the city council within the coming weeks. 

If approved by all parties, the agreement will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.   

In other news 

• The city is undergoing a modernization effort to convert all paper maps of the city's water distribution system to digital versions. The project is managed by MRB Group, an architectural engineering company in Rochester. 

Director of Municipal Utilities Seth Jensen said the city's current mapping system is "old" and "archaic." 

Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) Dan Allen said during a presentation to the council that the project will improve the accuracy of the maps so, in case of an emergency, city staff will be able to address problems more quickly, such as in the case of a water main break. 

The city plans to continue working with the company to modernize sewer and storm water mapping as well. 

Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie. 

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