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Watertown still cannot issue sewer permits for new development

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City officials met last week with the Department of Environmental Conservation about its moratorium on issuing sewer permits.

A moratorium remains in effect on sewer permits while the city works through issues with the Western Outfall Trunk Sewer basin.

In February, the city was cited by the DEC for purposely discharging untreated wastewater into Beaver Meadows, a large wetlands west of the city limits.

The city received the notice of violation after the DEC became aware that the city was purposely allowing the discharging of untreated water — mostly rainwater — through a manhole cover on Butterfield Drive.

The city continues to work with the DEC on its plan to resolve the issue, Water Superintendent Vicky L. Murphy said Monday.

The city had already submitted the “Offset Plan” but must resubmit it after receiving some “general comments” about it last week, she said.

Once the DEC approves the offset plan, the city can resume approving sewer permits for new development.

The city is getting advice from its consultant, GHD, Engineering, Syracuse, and has brought in another consultant, Flow Management Workgroup, to help with the Offset Plan.

The city can use what is called “sewer banks,” in which the city can get one-third credit for inflow and infiltration remediation projects that can later be used for sewer connections for new development.

For instance, the city replaced 63 manhole covers and received credit for 12,500 gallons per day that can be used for about 4,000 gallons per day for a sewer connection for new development.

GHD and Flow Management Workgroup plan to provide guidance “on what they have seen regarding sewer banks so we can mimic what other cities have done which should be acceptable to the DEC,” Murphy said.

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Watertown prepares to sell two more homes for redevelopment

in Local News 370 views

The city is getting ready to sell two more vacant homes to developers and contractors to fix up and get them back on the tax rolls.

A total of five developers submitted proposals explaining their redevelopment plans for 219/221 W. Lynde St. and 256 N. Pleasant St. under the second round of a city program to bring deteriorating houses back to life.

The city’s Planning Department and Codes Enforcement office are working together to determine which developers should be selected for the projects.

They plan to make a recommendation for the Aug. 21 council meeting, said Michael A. Lumbis, the city planning and community planning director.

“We’re just started to get into it and haven’t had a chance to do it yet,” he said.

The city Planning Department used a request for proposals process, or RFP, to seek interest from developers.

Two developers submitted plans for 256 N. Pleasant St., while three made proposals for 219-221 W. Lynde St.

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