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Report urges Seneca County to consider forming water authority

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A recent report by Rochester-based MRB Group recommends that Seneca County takes swift action to establish an independent water and sewer authority.

The study presented to the Board of Supervisors revealed the increasing challenge of operating aging water and wastewater treatment facilities, including deferred maintenance, escalating operating costs, and the necessity of large-scale capital investment to comply with state and federal regulations.

The report suggests that the county Board of Supervisors hold a work session on the governance and vision of the proposed water and sewer authority.

Following the passage of the necessary legislation, a board of directors for the authority, representing various geographical areas and municipal interests, should be appointed by the board. Horn suggested that the authority should be operational by the third quarter of 2024.

The proposed authority would develop a unified strategy for water and sewer services across the county, making it more competitive for state and federal funding. In addition, it would facilitate cost-effective planning that can stimulate economic development.

The report highlighted that there is sufficient treatment plant capacity in systems managed by various villages to provide water countywide, although some upgrades and potentially two new tanks would be needed. MRB Group also emphasized the need to validate existing intermunicipal agreements into a single report and meet with each municipality to ensure their effectiveness.