City of Lockport takes next step in joint water project
For more than three years Lockport and North Tonawanda have been working to see the feasibility of combining their water treatment plants, which would allow downsizing, potential cost savings and prevent the duplication of services.
In 2011, a Regional Water Efficiency Implementation grant for $440,000 from the New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency grant program was awarded to evaluate and inspect the raw waterline between Lockport and North Tonawanda to determine if it could be converted to a treated waterline.
This would allow North Tonawanda to operate their water treatment facility and Lockport would purchase water from them.
Lockport’s plant would be “mothballed” — shut down but kept in good condition in case it needs to be used in the future.
The grant would allow the 13-mile waterline that runs from the Niagara River to the water treatment plant in Lockport to be inspected to determine if the already treated water can run through the existing raw line and still be safe for people to drink.
The Niagara County Health Department will ultimately make the final decision if it is safe. Mayor Michael Tucker said if it is, the project will move forward. If not, the project will not.
North Tonawanda passed a similar resolution in August, agreeing to pay their local match for the grant of $24,445.
At that time Lockport was not ready to move forward on the project because they had several questions.
Alderman Pat Schrader said the Common Council is now okay with moving forward with this grant, because they are not committing to anything other than the waterline inspection.
“I feel it’s a very necessary thing,” said Schrader.
Lockport will also pay a local match of $24,445 for the grant.