Town of Moreau Route 9 Sewer Extension
Friday, October 15, 2021
Infrastructure Project is Expected to Improve the Environment, Attract Investment, Create Jobs, and Spur Economic Development
On Friday, October 15, 2021, the Town of Moreau broke ground on a highly-anticipated wastewater infrastructure project. This sewer extension – which will extend along Route 9 from Exit 17 of the Northway to just south of Butler Road – will be comprised of over 48,000 linear feet of low pressure sewers and more than 22,000 feet of force main.
The excitement surrounding this project is not the infrastructure itself, but the prospect that it brings for a new era of job creation, tax base expansion, environmental protection, and increased protection of public safety for the Town and for the region.
Moreau Town Supervisor Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. and New York State Senator Daphne Jordan spoke at the event.
Demonstrated Link between Adequate Infrastructure and Economic Growth
This investment – the largest public works project in the Town’s history and the most regionally significant infrastructure project in the past five years – will remove a barrier to economic development that has hampered economic growth in Moreau for years. The link between infrastructure and the economic vitality of a community has been proven time and again across the state and the nation and is evident right here in the Capital Region. Despite Moreau’s enviable traffic volumes along Route 9 (which appeals to retailers) and its access to Interstate 87 (which is vital to warehouse and manufacturing businesses), the Town lacked one critical piece of infrastructure offered by towns to the north and south. Without municipal sewer service, the Town and local landowners have been unable to close on numerous investments and development opportunities that would have helped to expand and diversify the tax base and brought essential jobs to the community.
Moreau Town Supervisor Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. frequently met with large commercial and retail operations that were interested in relocating or expanding to Moreau, only to have each conversation end abruptly when prospective investors learned that was no municipal sewer service. “Businesses are simply not willing or able to operate with the space requirements, expense, and operational challenges associated with large-scale septic systems,” notes Kusnierz. “Without municipal sewer service, the Town has been unable to attract new businesses of a scale that would provide significant tax revenue and job creation.” adds Kusnierz.
In order to attract jobs, expand the tax base, and diversify revenue sources that have been disproportionately shouldered by residential property owners for years, Town leaders determined that extending municipal sewer along the Route 9 commercial corridor was the key to turning this stretch into an economic engine.
The announcement of the sewer extension, followed by securing millions of dollars in state funding, has already significantly impacted property values before the first shovel has gone in the ground.
Leading the Right Team
Ronald J. Laberge, Executive Vice President of Laberge Group, the Albany engineering firm engaged to design and implement the project, credits the Supervisor and his team with strong leadership, transparency, and unrelenting vision for the future of the Town of Moreau – all essential components in the eventual success to extend the municipal sewer line. According to Mr. Laberge, “Having partnered with municipalities on similar projects for decades, I can say that what Supervisor Kusnierz and the Town Board have accomplished is impressive. They took on arguably two of the most difficult topics at hand – infrastructure and taxes – understanding that the economic benefits would far outweigh any potential political cost. It took strong leadership to communicate the benefits that this infrastructure would ultimately have both on jobs and on taxes.” The extension passed a public referendum by a vote of 32 – 29.
Kusnierz notes that navigating the complex technical and political landscape for a project of this magnitude required a concerted effort by a seasoned and professional team. According to the Supervisor, “the most important thing that we did was assemble a top-shelf team of engineers and an attorney that we could partner with to move this process forward. When you’re going to engage in the largest public works project in the history of the Town, you want to make sure you have the right professionals in place. That was the first move I made right out of the gate.”
Funding the Way Forward.
The Town leveraged the demonstrable benefits of the project into financing and grant funding. To fund the $16 million project, the Town secured a NYS Water Grant for $4 million and a 30-year 0% interest hardship loan from the State Environmental Facility Corp. (EFC) for the remainder. This funding reduced the tax burden by almost 200%.
Early Returns Impact Cost to Sewer Rate Payers.
Before the wastewater infrastructure is operational, property has already turned over at unprecedented rates, with several large sales and many promising inquiries. This corridor is now one of the hot new opportunities in the County, with a number of business investments in place. These business investments, which were not factored into the sewer district calculation, have the potential to reduce the cost per individual landowner by 20% or more before the first bill goes out. In addition, the extension has had a positive impact on land value. It has been estimated that since the sewer was approved, developers have added tens of millions in assessed value.
This infrastructure project has the potential to positively impact the economy of this community for years, if not decades, to come.
This event marked the start of an exciting new chapter for the Town of Moreau!
GET IN TOUCH
If, like so many communities across the Capital Region and throughout New York State, you have found that inadequate or deteriorating infrastructure has hampered investment, economic development, and job creation, Laberge Group can help.
Our multidiscipline team understands the intrinsic link between infrastructure and the local economy. In response we have developed a proven and impactful strategy for securing project funding and implementing projects that make a meaningful difference.
If you’re interested in how to get started, get in touch. We’re happy to be a resource for you.