Massena hires firm for infrastructure needs

MASSENA — The Massena Town Council has hired a firm to help it identify infrastructure needs, including the possible formation of a water district in East Massena.

The council passed a resolution to hire Barton and Loguidice Engineers after hearing a presentation from John Condino during a recent meeting.

“We’ve been talking about infrastructure needs, specifically possibly extending water to the east,” Mr. Condino said.

He said, as part of their infrastructure work, they should begin discussions with some of the stakeholders, which would include the New York Power Authority, St. Lawrence Seaway, Alcoa, Racer (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He said those stakeholders would understand what the specific needs were in their area.

Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said they were also talking to representatives from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Mr. Condino said their firm’s focus was “pretty much any municipal needs,” and they were ready to assist the town in those efforts.

But, he said, it would be a lengthy process.

“It’s a three- to five-year process to get one of these projects started, identify it, package it correctly and understand it,” he said.

Once projects were identified and prioritized, Mr. Condino said they could start working toward the funding.

“You prioritize. Then the funding comes in,” Deputy Supervisor Albert Nicola said.

“It all has to be tied into something. It’s a very competitive process,” Mr. Condino said.

James Murphy, executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, said there were funding opportunities right now, including wastewater and drinking water programs.

“There’s lots and lots of money for this project. Unfortunately, the window is too tight for this project you’re working on,” he said.

Mr. Condino said the project needed to be ready before they applied for potential funding.

“That’s what the funding agencies want to see,” he said.

He said the more prepared the project was, the better chance the community had to receive funding.

“It’s a long, lengthy process, but in the end there’s a lot of money our there,” he said.

After hearing from Mr. Condino, board members agreed to spend $2,000 for Barton and Loguidice Engineers to “guide the town on a list of infrastructure needs in East Massena and prioritize those needs and work with stakeholders.”

Because of his employment with the New York Power Authority, which would present a conflict of interest, Councilman Samuel D. Carbone Jr. abstained from the vote.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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