BATAVIA — The town is applying for federal aid for a needed replacement of an aging Park Road water main, the town said Wednesday night.

The improvement is to provide safe and reliable water to meet the current and future needs of users, according to the resolution passed by the town. A maximum of $1 million is available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), but the town is applying for $800,000, the estimated cost of the project. CDBG funding is administered by the state Office of Community Renewal (OCR).

“We can only apply for up to what we need. We’re still working on the application, but it’s somewhere around $800,000,” Town Engineer Steve Mountain said Thursday.

“I expect that it would have to be done this summer or fall,” Mountain said of the water main replacement. “It depends on when the funding announcements are made. We expect they’ll be made in a month or two.”

During Wednesday’s public hearing, the first of two to be held as part of the process, Town Supervisor Greg Post said the Park Road line replacement is past due.

“That pipe is aging out and it’s in the center of the busiest highway in the town of Batavia right now and serves not only one of our largest commercial enterprises but also a housing project as well as connector to all the hotels in the business district,” Post said. “It’s a pretty crucial segment of pipe.”

Mountain said the main is one of the main feeds to the western half of the town which was installed in 1970.

“Fifty years of asbestos pipe is attainable, but after that, it’s just a matter of time,” he said. “We have a lot of other asbestos pipe that we have to try to tackle.”

The Park Road water main is about a mile of piping, Mountain said.

“Rather than leave that old asbestos main in place and having to rip the road up at sometime in the future, that particular project makes the most sense to try to get funding for right now,” he said.

During the public hearing, Mountain said the town has used CDBG funds successfully a lot over the years. CDBG applications require two public hearings. The first was Wednesday night and the second will be when a project is about 75 percent finished.

Mountain said the town wants to act on the $49 million funding round.

“The funding opportunities in the public infrastructure, that’s really the one we’re looking at tonight,” he said. Mountain said CDBG funding was announced about a month ago and applications are due March 5.

“We really have to do a lot of work to get things together,” he said.

No one else was there to speak at Wednesday’s public hearing. During a public hearing Wednesday night, CDBG applications require two public hearings. The first was Wednesday night and the second will be when a project is about 75 percent finished.

More information about the grant is available at https://hcr.ny.gov/community-development-block-grant or people may contact Mountain at the Town Hall.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1