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State awards Gouverneur grant to consolidate sewage systems

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GOUVERNEUR — The community will receive a $396,000 state grant to consolidate the town and village sewage systems, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The Local Government Efficiency Grant is part of $4 million in funding for streamlining government operations.

“Our main goal is to close our sewer plant,” Gouverneur Town Supervisor Robert R. Ritchie said. “It’ll help us and help the village.”

The money will help pay for the shutdown of the plant, cleaning lagoons and for hook-ups to the village system.

The town started looking at consolidating the systems in 2012. Town and village officials agreed that running one plant instead of two would save taxpayers money.

The town decided to start its own sewage treatment system in 1992, when it thought the lack of one was hurting efforts to jumpstart development on Route 11. It initially wanted to join the village system but was unable to reach agreement with the village on how much to charge users who lived in the town.

The 227 users the system was built for are mostly along Route 11 west of the village.

The expected development, however, did not occur. Instead, the number of users has shrunk, prompting the discussion about consolidating services.

“These grants play a central role in our efforts to empower municipalities to increase efficiency and reduce costs for taxpayers,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “With our support, local governments across the state are pursuing innovative approaches to their core operations. This ultimately enables local officials to more effectively control costs and reduce taxes levied on home and business owners in their communities.”

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