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City Manager Jason Molino terms it "a true win-win," now that the Batavia City Council has approved a sewer deal allowing the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park to tap into city sewer lines.

Under terms of the plan, city sewer lines will be extended along Cedar Street, allowing the Ag-Park to run pipe directly past O-AT-KA Milk Products' building and hook into city lines. A new city pumping station will also be built near that area, which allows O-AT-KA to tap into the new high-capacity line as well. All construction costs will be funded through grants acquired by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

City Council approved the deal unanimously.*

"The city's benefit is that our biggest user, O-AT-KA Milk...gets a larger sewer line, so they're not constrained anymore and they have the opportunity to grow," Molino said.

But the benefit is two-fold: with the sewer issue resolved, a pair of new businesses will be able to begin construction at the Ag-Park. Alpina Foods' yogurt factory will be first, with company officials hoping to break ground within days.

And Molino sees even greater opportunities for the city down the road, as the Ag-Park expands. He pointed out that the city already has some of the lowest sewer rates in Western New York. Gaining added sewer fund revenue "can only benefit that even more," he said.

"As the sewer fund experiences better revenue, we'll have the ability to do more improvements to our sewer system – more efficient sewer system, the better ability we have to assist projects (in the Ag-Park)," Molino said. He said if numbers become astronomical, the increased revenue may give the city freedom to lower sewer rates even further.

Installation of the sewer lines and pumping station is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

*Ward One Councilman Bill Cox recused himself from tonight's vote. Cox is buying land in the Ag-Park, in order to move and expand his business.

IMAGE: Rough diagram of sewer line construction plan. Red line indicates planned sewer extension. Map courtesy Google Maps.

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