According to Town Supervisor Peter McMahon "the patches have patches" on one of two tanks set for replacement. He said the grant will allow the town to increase the capacity of the water treatment plant by 1.6 million gallons a day, or more than 60 percent.
"That increased capacity is going to save the Town of Grand Island residents a quarter of a million dollars a year, money that's currently being spent to buy water from the Town of Niagara," McMahon said.
This is the second grant for infrastructure from Slaughter, he noted. An earlier grant extended the existing sewer system on Grand Island Boulevard from Tops Markets to Burger King. The infrastructure improvement on the previous grant had a long-term impact on the town's economy, he explained.
"Today there are two new buildings, one expanded plaza, and seven businesses that didn't exist before that project was planned and put under way," McMahon noted.
The earlier grant came in fiscal year 2004.
"I'm happy to have been a part of the water and sewer money, because a community cannot survive, it cannot really expand, it cannot do many things if it can't provide for its people," Slaughter said. She praised the board for its stewardship of the first grant.
Councilman Richard Crawford noted the town has the lowest water rates in the county.
The funding will cover almost half of the cost for the town to upgrade approximately 2,500 feet of 16-inch waterline from the plant discharge along Ferry Road.
"At a time when our infrastructure is in desperate need of repairs, I am pleased to join Supervisor McMahon in Grand Island to celebrate the much needed funding that will bring safe drinking water to the residents of Grand Island and save local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Slaughter. "Improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the town's water treatment plant will benefit more than 18,000 residents and are necessary for the town to provide clean water for the sustained residential and commercial growth on the Island through 2016."
Town Engineer John Whitney said the plant was built in two halves, one in 1938 and the other in 1956. "It's seen its useful life," he said. "We're trying to plan for our future." Brian Sibiga, project manager of Wendel Companies, said the project will take six to nine months to complete.