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City May Ask NY to Help with Water System Study Costs


Could New York State help foot the bill for additional costs associated with the City of Auburn’s Water Filtration Plant Improvement Project?

At its Thursday meeting, Auburn City Council will vote on a resolution authorizing a change order of $25,500 to cover additional costs associated with the advanced treatment study of the city’s water filtration plant microcystin removal system, allowing officials to better understand the limits of the current system.

On September 7, City Council received a report from Director of Municipal Utilities Seth Jensen on a study looking at the city’s water treatment plant. While the study showed that the city’s treatment process is keeping its drinking water safe and clean, a consensus was reached that more testing would need to be done.

As part of the resolution, if passed, Council would request the state assist with funding because “testing is necessary due to Owasco Lake watershed conditions beyond the control of the City of Auburn.”

Certified copies of the resolution would then be sent to the following state and federal officials: Governor Kathy Hochul, Department of Health Commissioner Jame MacDonald MD, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, State Senator Rachel May, Assemblyman John Lemondes, US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representative Claudia Tenney.

On April 22, 2021, Council awarded a professional services contract of $345,000 to GHD of Syracuse for complete design services related to the slow sand filtration plant and clear well upgrades.

On November 4, 2021, the first change order was approved in the amount of $31,700 to cover additional costs for design work and bidding services. The second was approved On July 7, 2022, for $241,000 dollars to cover additional costs related to the project’s construction phase. Neither of these change orders requested economic assistance from New York State.

Council meets Thursday at 5:00p at City Hall.

Auburn provides drinking water to residents in Auburn, Aurelius, Brutus, Cayuga, Felming (Water District 6), Mentz, Montezuma, Port Byron, Sennett, Springport (Water District 2), Throop, and Weedsport, totalling 45,000 people.


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