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April 2, 2016

City to address flood relief, smoking ban

WorksJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
The city Waterworks on Broadway is among the water infrastructure that would be improved if the city Common Council on Tuesday approves borrowing $2.3 million for the work.

By TYRONE L. HEPPARD
Staff Reporter
theppard@cortlandstandardnews.net

The city Common Council is expected to consider at its meeting Tuesday proposals to spend a total of $5.3 million to upgrade the city Waterworks on Broadway and mitigate flooding in the South End.
In addition, the council plans to consider a ban on smoking on all city-owned properties, when it meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
Mayor Brian Tobin plans to ask the council to approve bonding for $2.3 million worth of upgrades at the Waterworks, which would be funded a state grant.
That funding would be used on the “reconstruction, replacement and/or acquisition of new equipment and facilities connected with the pumping, treatment and storage of the city’s drinking water,” according to a letter summarizing the project prepared by Mack Cook, the city’s director of administration and finance.
Tobin said Friday that the upgrades have been considered by the city for a long time.
“We’re taking technical equipment and making sure it’s fully functional in case of an emergency,” Tobin said Friday. “This is us being very ... vigilant and making sure we’re able to protect our water.”
The project will have no affect on city water rates, Tobin said.
Also Tuesday, three aldermen are expected to ask the council to allow the city to apply for a $3 million grant that would be put toward flood mitigation in the South End of the city.
Aldermen Tom Michales (R-8th Ward), Bill Carpenter (D-5th Ward) and Adam Megivern (R-7th Ward) plan to ask their peers to consider applying for the money that would go toward flood mitigation efforts in southeast portion of the city.
If money is secured, flood mitigation efforts would involve replacing culverts near Sunnyfield Drive and Pendleton Street in addition to Jackson Drive, off Pendleton Street, according to a letter by Cook.
Residents from the South End, notably from the Kent and Fox Hollow roads and Sunnyfield Drive neighborhoods have asked the city for years to address flooding in their part of the city.
If approved, this will be the second such flood mitigation effort city officials are working to implement this year, following plans to widen a culvert on Otter Creek near Arthur and Maple avenues in May.
The council on Tuesday will also consider legislation that would ban tobacco products on all city-owned property.
Smoking and tobacco products are already banned in the all of the city’s parks but city attorney Ric VanDonsel said Friday the new law, if passed, would expand the ban to other city-owned property, including vehicles as well as parking lots and on sidewalks adjacent to the parks or city property.
The affected properties would be:
* City Hall on Court Street;
* the Cortland Fire Station on Court Street;
* the Department of Public Works garage on South Franklin Street;
* the Cortland Waterworks on Broadway;
* the Cortland Youth Bureau and Recreation Center on Port Watson Street;
* city-owned parking lots, and;
* sidewalks adjacent to the parks or city property.
Tobin first submitted the proposal to the council in February. Since then, aldermen have made some changes like eliminating a provision that would provide a space for smokers or punishing people for smoking in their cars while parked on city property.
The intent of the legislation remains in tact, however, and residents have only given positive feedback when speaking during public comments portions of meetings and at the March 15 public hearing on the proposed ban..

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