With two major developments in the town underway and a third in the planning stages, the town and the city are teaming up to determine if the city’s sewer system is able to handle the additional wastewater they will generate.
But City Councilor Ken Camera suggested at last week’s City Council meeting that such studies simply encourage growth outside a city that is desperate for development to add to its limited tax base.
City Council agreed to split the $24,600 cost with the town to hire MRB Group to study not only the city’s wastewater treatment capacity but also whether the sewer pipes that would serve the town developments are adequate.
“I have a problem with this,” said Camera, Fourth Ward councilor.
He said town development — in particular on Routes 5&20 — has come at the expense of the city. He said it’s resulted in the “moving (of) the center of economic development from downtown to the outskirts. … It bothers me.”
Camera, the only councilor to vote against a resolution to approve the city’s $12,300 share, said the city should instead be spending money to determine why some residents are getting sewer backups. He believes it may have something to do with the city’s sewer infrastructure.
“I’d like to spend money on that,” he said.
In particular, Camera noted the case of a Genesee Street resident whose basement recently was flooded from a sewer backup that resulted in her losing a refrigerator, a freezer and more. He said it’s insurance, not the city, that is reimbursing her for the losses.
Councilor Paul D’Amico said the city doesn’t have a lot of room for the kinds of development coming into the town.
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