The city manager suggests using ARPA funds to build an “inclusive target playground” in Austin Park

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Rachel Tabelski, City Manager of Batavia, refers to them as ARPA-1 through ARPA-7 and has compiled a list of priority spending items – including an “inclusive target playground” in Austin Park – which are partially or fully funded by the $ 1.4 million City will receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In a September 20 memo to the city council, Tabelski wrote that she recommends these spending as part of her Batavia Investment 2021 report, which is on the agenda for Monday evening’s conference session.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the town hall.

If the city council proposes resolutions on Monday, the vote will take place at the next business meeting of the board, which is scheduled for October 12 at 7 p.m.

In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy, the federal government has allocated $ 19.53 billion from the local coronavirus fiscal recovery fund to support under-eligibility units from localities with fewer than 50,000 residents, Tabelski wrote.

The city received $ 1,474,764.79 from ARPA (half this year and half next year).

The money can be used for public health costs, foregone public sector revenues, substantial labor wages and investments in water, sanitation and broadband infrastructure, but it has limitations.

These limitations, as outlined in Tabelski’s report, include the inability to use the money to lower the tax rate, balance retirement funds, pay off ongoing debt, walk on sidewalks and streets (unless it is related to COVID- 19 is documented). ) and in most cases to support ongoing operations.

Tabelski’s report indicates that the recommended projects were derived in several ways:

  • Talks with department heads and employees as well as citizen contributions;
  • Review of capital plans, current needs and running reserve accounts;
  • Analysis of ARPA regulations in order to create projects that are most beneficial for the city and / or to advance future ventures taking into account social and economic factors;
  • Allocation of ARPA funds for projects that may receive alternative funding, such as B. pooled funds from other sources to increase total investment;
  • Ability of city staff to complete, monitor and report on projects.

Brief descriptions of the seven projects recommended by Tabelski are as follows:

ARPA-1: Engineering services for water system design

A resolution to enter into a contract with the GHD Group of Buffalo to “map, inventory and plan lead service lines in the city in connection with the new lead and copper rule” and “the closure of the city water treatment plant in connection with Prepare for Genesee, “The county’s Phase 3 water project that would bring water to the city from the Monroe County Water Authority.

Cost: $ 248,000 using all ARPA funds.

ARPA-2: Cohoctone water transmission line

Replacing 3,700 linear feet of a 12-inch water transmission line that supplies water to the city’s southwest quadrant – connecting to the existing 12-inch main line near the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and Treadeasy Avenues, and on to the existing 12 -Inch main line near Walnut Street. The main line has suffered 11 interruptions in the past 30 years.

Cost: $ 800,000 shared equally between ARPA and the reserve fund.

ARPA-3: Includes Destination Playground in Austin Park

Located in the city’s Opportunity Zone, Tabelski writes that there is now an opportunity to upgrade Austin Park (see photo above)Believing that the expenditure will benefit local families, attract out-of-town visitors, and contribute to public safety in and around the park through appropriate environmental management.

Leisure websites describe inclusive playgrounds as areas of activity that remove both physical and social barriers to exclusion and provide a “sensory” experience for all. They should be a safe place where children of all abilities can play together and are developmentally appropriate for children with and without disabilities.

Cost: $ 800,000, used $ 400,000 in ARPA funds, and applied for grants to double the investment.

ARPA-4: Change the project of the resource plan

“Critical” improvements are needed at the City Maintenance and Fire Department, writes Tabelski, recommending the purchase of a new generator to operate the Evans Street Fire Department and expenditures to make the facility accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cost: $ 540,000 with $ 100,000 being used from ARPA funds, the remainder being allocated to the project in the Facility Reserve Fund.

ARPA-5: Analysis of the head sections of sewage treatment plants

Tabelski seeks another contract (through a resolution) with the GHD Group for engineering services to solve problems caused by an aging ventilation and blower system. The last headwork study took place in 1983, and since then the sewage treatment plant’s ventilation system had deteriorated due to leaks in the main collector. “While this problem has been resolved, it has highlighted the need for more thorough analysis …” she wrote.

Cost: $ 250,000 using all ARPA funds.

ARPA-6: Replace the aging sewer camera

The city’s main line camera, which was purchased in 2012 and is due to be replaced next year, has reached the end of its useful life and has malfunctioned several times, resulting in repair costs. Tabelski recommends purchasing an Envirosight Rover X camera from Joe Johnson Equipment of Rochester, which can be purchased at a discount through a cooperative purchasing program.

Cost: $ 100,000 divided equally between the ARPA Fund and the Wastewater Reserve Fund.

ARPA-7: Replace aging water meter readers

As with the sewer camera, the city’s meter readers are about 10 years old and need to be replaced. The recommendation is a decision to purchase new handheld and data recorders from Ti-Sales, Inc., Sudbury, Massachusetts, along with the use of a cloud-based data storage system.

Cost: $ 26,765, using $ 26,764.70 from ARPA funds and $ 1,718.79 from water reserves.

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