Mayor sends ARPA funding for five major water infrastructure projects for Common Council review

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is proposing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the Syracuse Common Council to begin the Skaneateles Lake drinking water intake pipe extension and four other major water infrastructure projects. The projects total $10 million in investments in the City water system. The Council’s Public Works Committee will review the proposals at its standing committee meeting on Thursday, July 22.

“The pandemic and the impacts of climate change have shown that we need to continue to invest in and fortify the City’s water infrastructure,” said Mayor Walsh. “The extension of the intake pipe in Skaneateles Lake is a long awaited project to protect the drinking water supply to more than 200,000 local residents. ARPA funds will enable us to undertake this project and other important water infrastructure improvements.”

The Department of Water is requesting to use $4,070,000 in ARPA funds to begin the design and construction phase of the extension on intake pipe number two in the lake. The total anticipated project cost is $12.5 million. The department plans to fund the remaining balance through grants and bonding.

The department also identified the following other projects for ARPA investment: replacement of Guilford, Brookford and Westminster pump stations ($3,360,000); security upgrades at Water Department facilities ($1,150,000); water supply conduit crossing Nine Mile Creek project ($1,030,000); and replacement of Skaneateles weir (low dam) for water flow management ($390,000). ARPA funds will supplement other sources of funding to enable these projects to move forward.

Mayor Walsh is also advancing ARPA funding to the Common Council for housing and rent relief; a small business loan fund; support for arts and culture organizations; and the City’s Urban Forest Master Plan. These items will also be considered at standing committee meetings in preparation for the Council’s next regular meeting on Aug. 2.

“I appreciate the Council’s due diligence and work with the Administration in getting these funds deployed,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Biden Administration, with leadership from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, delivered on their promise to help local communities recover from the pandemic. I’m hopeful that negotiations on the bipartisan infrastructure bill in Washington will lead to additional infrastructure investments in Syracuse. We’re demonstrating these funds are much needed and can be well-invested to help people, create jobs and strengthen communities.”

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