Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh wants to use some of the city of Syracuse's remaining COVID-19 relief funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to fund a $10 million project to overhaul the city's water infrastructure. 

The plan focuses in on starting the Skaneateles Lake drinking water intake pipe extension project, as well as four other major water infrastructure projects, according to a recent release from the mayor's office.

“The pandemic and the impacts of climate change have shown that we need continue to invest in and fortify the City’s water infrastructure,” said Walsh in the statement. “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.”

So far, the Department of Water has requested over $4 million to design and begin construction on extending the intake pipe into Skaneateles Lake. The project is estimated to cost $12.5 million, with the rest of the funds to be drawn from grants and bonding. 

The department is also hoping to use ARPA funding to offset costs to replace the Guilford, Brookford and Westminster pump stations, upgrade security features at Water Department facilities, begin work on a water supply conduit crossing at Nine Mile Creek and replace the Skaneateles weir for water flow management.

Walsh has forwarded ARPA funds to the Syracuse Common Council for housing and rent relief, small business loans, support for arts and culture organizations and the city's Urban Forest Master Plan, according to the release. 

The proposal for water infrastructure projects, as well as these other items, will be reviewed by the council’s Public Works Committee at a standing committee meeting set for Thursday afternoon. 

The Syracuse Common Council is set to meet again on Aug. 2.


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