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The Lansing Town Board authorized the creation of a map plan review Wednesday for a proposed Sewer District #2 that would bring sewer service to a new NYS Department Of transportation (DOT) facility on Warren Road.  The facility will include a 30,000 square foot 'sub-residency' maintenance building, a 5,000 square foot Cold Storage, a 8,200 square foot Salt Barn, and a 2,500 square foot Hopper Building (covered lean-to).  Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne explained authorizing a map plan review was a last minute addition to the agenda because the Town's Municipal Water and Sewer Advisory Board had met later than usual this month, thus their recommendation was forwarded shortly before the town Board meeting.

LaVigne noted that Wednesday's vote was only to authorize the creation of a map plan report, and that the Board was not voting on actually creating the new sewer district.  But Councilman Joe Wetmore said he wanted to wait until next month's meeting because it hadn't been on the agenda long enough for the public to be notified.

"Why move this tonight?" he questioned. "It feels like it just got put on us without being out on the agenda.  I don't think the public has had a chance to weigh in on it.  I know this is a topic that there's a lot of concern about."

"There's no time crunch, because there is still a long process to go through," LaVigne said. "On the other hand I felt comfortable putting it on the agenda tonight, because it's been discussed for a while.  So it isn't like this is the first time that you were aware that the DOT wants to get in the district.  There has been coverage in the Lansing Star that this has been discussed and moving forward.  There really isn't any finalizing this (tonight).  After this you still have the map plan report being submitted.  You still have the public interest order coming up. There's still going to be a public hearing on this.  You still have a referendum period of 30 days.  So there are a lot of safeguards."

Town Attorney confirmed that there will be a mandatory public hearing before the sewer district can be officially created.

"The map plan report is the document that would elaborate on the information as far as te district boundary, the EDU allocation, the sewer usage of the site," said CHA Consulting, Inc. Project Engineer Brian Bouchard. "That document is is needed in order to distribute it to the board and the public as well."

The location of the facility has become controversial in the Town because it is so close to residences on hillcrest Road.  Bill and Maura Kennedy-Smith have been most vocal because their house borders the DOT site.  they and other neighbors have voiced concerns about noise and truck traffic.  Bouchard said the building has been turned to reduce noise in the latest draft of the design.

LaVigne said that the Kennedy-Smiths have expressed interest in being included in the new sewer district, and Arno Finkeldey , who owns the storage units on the corner, is being contacted to gauge his interest in being included.  LaVigne proposed two potential scenarios, one including Finkeldey's property and the other without.

The request to bring sewer service to the DOT facility has also been controversial because an earlier plan was to include about 70 acres of Tompkins County land that includes the 15.5 acres the County sold to the DOT.  That would have made a significant dent in the limited sewer treatment allocation the Town has been allotted in an agreement between the Town and Village of Lansing and the Village of Cayuga heights, which owns and operates the sewer treatment facility.

"It's not a lot," LaVigne said. "It's going to come out of the Town of Lansing's allocation.  I have a letter from (Village Engineer) Brent Cross saying he's very comfortable with this proposal.  We've also see the Mayor of the Village of Lansing's comments that he's comfortable.  So I'm comfortable moving forward that the partners are there."

The new plan is to only bring sewer to the DOT portion of the land.  LaVigne said that between 8 and 10 EDUs (Equivalent Dwelling units) will be allocated for the project.

The Board authorized the creation of the map plan, with LaVigne and Councilwomen Katrina Binkewicz and Andra Benson voting yes, and Wetmore voting no.

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