BY JIM AUSTIN
THE COOPERSTOWN CRIER
The village should be setting aside more than $800,000in its next budget just to pay for the upkeep, repair and replacement of its streets, according to a draft version of an infrastructure study by Lamont Engineers.
Board members met late last month in special session with Lamont representatives to go over the report and to give the engineering firm feedback before the report is finalized.
Mayor Jeff Katz said the village typically puts $200,000 to $250,000 into a reserve for streets project.
“It’s woefully insufficient compared to the numbers that are needed,” he said.
To take care of the water system requirements, $142,000 is needed annually and for the sewer system, $152,000, the report indicated. Katz said the water and sewer funds generate nearly that much surplus, which is set aside for capital projects. The village’s infrastructure has a value of about $69 million, according to Henry Lamont.
“It’s always remarkable to me how much has been invested in infrastructure,” he said.
Lamont said the village has accomplished much of its infrastructure work with its own funds. Grants and low-interest loans are getting scarcer with today’s economic climate and he suggested the village may have to keep providing funding itself while looking for other sources of money.
Trustee Lynne Mebust said she believes the report is great and that it will be “extremely helpful.”
The report, she said, sets the priorities for infrastructure repairs and the board will have to look at some long-range financial planning to be able to fund the repairs.
Lamont Engineers report cost $18,266, but was discounted 50 percent by the company so the village will pay $9,133.
BY JIM AUSTIN
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