AURORA — The village of Aurora's board of trustees unanimously agreed to move forward with a $40,000 feasibility study to be contracted with K. Teter Consulting LLC to help determine a solution for a new water source.
There is no contract yet, but the village voted to move forward with the plan "to produce a feasibility study for a water plant in Aurora," Mayor Bonnie Apgar Bennett said during the meeting Wednesday. The vote also allowed Bennett to send out a request to Wells College and the Inns of Aurora to ask them to split the cost of the study in thirds.
The study will identify all of the problems as well as all of the available solutions for Aurora as they continue to seek out a new water source as the Wells College water plant will be decommissioned in the future. The study needs to be done so that the village can look into applying for grants and funds, because without the study, the village is disqualified due to the median income of its residents being too high.
"We have to prove to our funding sources that we've done due diligence, that we have found the best solution," Bennett said. In the meantime, Bennett has been "writing letters like crazy" in efforts to acquire state funds and assistance.
Initially when the village looked into a feasibility study for a water plant in Aurora, it received a quote of $75,000 at minimum.
"The good news, as of two days ago, is that we think that will come in at $40,000 instead," Bennett said. She added this reduction is in part due to the work that the Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority has already completed in their county-wide feasibility study.
"If this (new feasibility study for the village) could get done by July and we could get into the (New York state) consolidated funding grants, it could be huge," Bennett said during the meeting.
Bennett said in many ways this study parallels the Water Authority's study, but at earliest those results will be available in November. She added that there is no way to be sure that it will still look to Aurora as a site for a new regional plant, or if they will even pursue the idea to create a new regional plant at all at this time.
"I think we've done a good thing to wait this long, but we can't wait any longer," Bennett said.
In other news:
• The village board unanimously voted to pay one-third, $3,100, of the contract with GHD Consulting Services Inc. for the feasibility study that was conducted at the Wells College water plant to determine what needed to be done to retrofit the plant to handle HAB.
• The board also introduced local law two of 2018, "The Waiver of the Maximum Real Property Tax Levy Limit," which would allow the village board to reserve the right to override the tax limit and adopt a budget for fiscal year 2018 in excess of the tax levy limit. A public hearing on the proposed local law two will be held at 7 p.m. March 21 at the Village Hall.