Legislature to vote on hiring Albany-based lobbyist to help seek Phase 3 water funding

Genesee County is turning to a familiar face, so to speak, to help in its quest to attract outside funding for Phase 3 of the county’s water program.

At its meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Old Courthouse, the County Legislature will consider a contract resolution with Sheridan Hohman & Associates of Albany to provide strategic counsel and government relations assistance at the county level. ‘State for the rest of the year at a cost of $2,000 per month.

County Executive Matt Landers said the expenses, totaling $18,000, will be covered by the Water Fund.

“We think the assistance of a lobbyist who will focus on state relations (agencies and leaders) will be helpful, Landers said. “This company has worked with us in the past through NYSAC (New York State Association of Counties).”

Landers and County Engineer Tim Hens, in a Feb. 23 meeting with Congressman Chris Jacobs, said it would cost about $85 million for Phase 3, which would bring in six million gallons. additional water per day in the county and eliminate the need for the aging Batavia City Water Plant.

The county has already spent $20 million on Phase 1 and $23 million on Phase 2. The price for a later fourth phase is estimated at $50-60 million.

At that time, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Rochelle Stein asked Jacobs and her team to explore federal funding options, noting, “We’re at a point now where we can’t handle it. by ourselves.

In a related development, the Legislature will also consider rescinding an intermunicipal agreement with the City of Alexander regarding improvements to Water District No. 6 in that community.

Apparently the hens and county compliance officer Pamela LaGrou agree changes need to be made to the pact that calls for the county to use some of the American Rescue Plan Act funding it received in order to comply with ARPA regulations.

Hens said a new resolution will be drafted and presented to the Public Service Committee on April 18. The county will save $3.3 million in interest on this Phase 3 project using ARPA money.

The project is focused on increasing storage capacity, with construction beginning next spring, Hens added.

Other resolutions to note on Wednesday’s legislative agenda:

  • Pursuant to an unfunded mandate from the New York State Board of Elections, the purchase of a $40,000 ballot scanner to compile scannable mail-in ballots and merge those results with the results of the early voting and election day, as well as the expense of $2,500 for staff training. Republican Deputy Commissioner Melissa Gaebler said the equipment should be operational by the June primary.
  • A request from the Rotary Club of Batavia to host their Fly-In Breakfast on June 19 at the Genesee County Airport on Saile Drive. The service organization would use the facility June 17-21 for prep and cleanup.
  • A public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on April 27 at the Old Courthouse on the County’s submission of an application for a Community Development Block Grant from the State Office of Community Renewal to assist La Fermiere Inc. .in the development of a yogurt and dessert production facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park on East Main Street Road.