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Lake Placid to seek loans for sewer project

December 7, 2012
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer (cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - The financial pieces are starting to fall into place as the village prepares to install a new trunk sewer line that will replace two old, decaying ones.

The village Board of Trustees unanimously approved two resolutions earlier this week: One lets Mayor Craig Randall and Treasurer Peggy Mousaw sign an agreement with Walsh & Walsh LLP of Saratoga Springs to act as bond counsel, and the other lets the village sell up to $4.85 million in bonds to finance the project. Both resolutions will keep the village on track to meet a Feb. 1, 2013, deadline to apply for low-finance loans through the state Environmental Facilities Corporation.

Village Attorney Janet Bliss said Walsh & Walsh has served as bond counsel for the village in the past.

"The scope of engagement would include rendering bond opinions for not only any construction or short-term financing, but also for the long-term financing," she said. "One of the biggest jobs that bond counsel does is ... to make sure that those bonds are tax exempt and are done in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations."

The project includes removal of two aging clay sewer lines, which will be replaced with one 27-inch plastic line that will be encased in a steel sleeve wherever it crosses the Chubb River. The new line will carry sewage to the village's wastewater treatment plant at the end of Powerhouse Road.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have all approved permits for the project, and the village is close to acquiring easements that are needed before construction can start.

As part of the project, the village will remove a dam below Power Pond that will restore the Chubb River to its original state. The village considered rehabilitating the dam to bring it into compliance with state requirements, but those repairs would have cost about $1 million.

In November, the village Board of Trustees, Mousaw, Municipal Electric Department Superintendent Peter Kroha and village Department of Public Works Superintendent Brad Hathaway met with Essex County and state officials to discuss the project's funding. Randall said in a recent interview that he wanted to bring everyone involved in the project together to get a better sense about the timeline.

Randall said he's confident the village will be approved for the EFC loans.

"We've done all of the work that we're required to do so that we're positioned now to go forward with the project, secure the financing and get this project completed," he said.

The village has applied for $1.2 million in Green Initiative funding through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. Randall said the village should find out soon whether it will receive that grant. If it does, it would dramatically reduce the project's overall cost.

EFC's Jason Denno told the Enterprise that the village is eligible for subsidized rate financing of about 1.7 percent.

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Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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