City council will consider bonding for $3.4 million dam project

2013-02-28T03:00:00Z 2013-02-28T20:49:04Z City council will consider bonding for $3.4 million dam projectThe Citizen staff Auburn Citizen
February 28, 2013 3:00 am  • 

The Auburn City Council will do a first reading Thursday on a bond ordinance that would authorize the city to proceed with a $3.4 million State Dam safety improvement project.

A second reading has to be completed before the council can approve the item.

According to a memorandum attached to the bond ordinance, the State Dam, or the Owasco Lake Outlet Dam adjacent to Owasco Road, was originally built in 1836 to generate water power for mills in the area.

The dam "is in urgent need of stabilization and rehabilitation," according to the memorandum. Parts of it were reconstructed in 1972 after Hurricane Agnes, which caused flood waters that nearly breached the dam.

"The 1999 State Dam Rehabilitation report cited that the taintor gate seal leaks profusely and the radial arms had been damaged by winter icing events," according to the memorandum. "The report also noted that the pier wall is cracked and the concrete in the service spillway is deteriorating."

The city's engineering department received bids to do the project, which would include the rehabilitation and stabilization of the dam and rehabilitation of the service spillway that helps control and maintain Owasco Lake levels; a new vertical lift gate with five flood gates to replace the current radial taintor gate; and rehabilitation of the existing dam and bypass walls.

The project would be paid for partially by a $300,000 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act Grant, according to the memorandum.

The other $3.1 million will be bonded and paid back in debt service payments by using a combination of 50 percent from the general fund and 50 percent from the water fund.

"The State Dam safety improvement project is a required project with the NYS DEC in order to maintain control and operation of river flow and lake levels," the memorandum said.

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