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NY Mills secures federal grant for 2009 street improvements

Federal Stimulus money will make its way to New York Mills this summer in the form of an estimated $965,000 federal grant to be used for street and utility improvements.

On Tuesday, the NYM City Council passed a resolution awarding the contract on 2009 street and utility rehabilitation for Gilman, Hayes, Walker, Van Aernam, Nowell, and Frazee Streets to Sellin Bros. of Hawley. The contractor bid amount is $1,542,475.50. Total project cost as bid is $1,958,944. The total cost includes engineer's fees and other costs associated with preparing the project for construction.

The project was originally estimated at about $2.3 million.

"All in all, this was a good bid," Jon Pratt, of Ulteig Engineers, said at Tuesday's council meeting.

Darla Berry, City Clerk of NY Mills, was notified last week the city was awarded a Public Finance Authority grant for about $965,000 based on the estimated $2.3 million project cost for Walker, Van Aernam and Nowell street improvements.

Pratt said the grant amount is expected to come down proportionately with the actual project cost.

The city expects to receive an estimated $1.8 million in grant and low interest loans to pay for this summer's project.

Property owners living on the affected streets will be assessed, and the council will decide exactly how to set the assessments. With such a substantial amount in grant funds coming to help pay for the project, the question is how that will affect assessments.

Pratt briefly discussed that with the council Tuesday. There are no requirements tied to the grant as far as how the money must be used. The council has the option to buy down the city's share of the project, put the grant towards buying down the assessments exclusively, or a combination of both.

Pratt recommends buying down the city's share in order to help keep the assessments fair and in line with past and future projects.

The assessable share for the project is $1,143,934. Of that, the city's share would be $815,010. Based on the total project bid, a property owner with a 50-foot lot would pay $9,263. A 100-foot lot would be assessed $16,235.

Depending on how the city council uses the PFA grant and sets the assessments, those figures would decrease.

The PFA Clean Water Revolving Fund base grant is $185,680, with an affordability grant of $594,176. The PFA Drinking Water Revolving Fund base grant is $185,625.