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Guest Column: Mayor Gerry Messmer

“The water is next!”

The following is the 12th in a series of columns about life in Odessa written by Mayor Gerry Messmer.

ODESSA, July 12, 2022 -- Since the first day I took office as Mayor in 2018, water has been my number one priority and I have fought every day since then to bring Odessa the clean water it desperately needs and deserves. In this process I have worked with Tom Becker, USDA-Rural Development, Travis Long and Chad Reid, JHA Companies (engineers), and Catherine Rees, RCAP Solutions (Grant Writer) for hundreds of hours through meetings, phone calls and e-mails. These folks have committed their time, energy, and expertise to help us get clean water!

Folks like these are the hidden gems in New York State, people who are as committed to this project as we are, people who are driven to succeed. Odessa is fortunate to have this team working with us to bring us a new water system.

I am proud to announce that after years of hard work, we have secured the necessary funding to redo the entire water system, including replacing 75% of the unlined and antiquated pipes and installing a new, modular state-of-the-art treatment process that can grow if our water district grows.

This week I received the formal Commitment Letter from USDA-RD with a $4,959,000 GRANT and $4,940,000 in long-term funding for the project.
The next steps include finalizing the design with USDA-RD approval and permit filing with respective agencies to be completed by the end of November or December. This will put us in a position to go out for bid in February, with a construction start date of April 2023. We do not know, until final design, how long the project will take, but it will get the dust flying again next year. But the pain of construction will be well worth a permanent fix to our water problem.

In other news, DOT will begin reconstruction of the sidewalks and crosswalks on Main Street in April as well. This project, with great thanks to Michael Griffin, Susan Cook, Matthew Aldrich, Marty Johnson, Boryana Mihaylova and Bryan Hubbard from DOT, will put a new sidewalk on both sides of Main Street and add a sidewalk all the way to the bus stop. In between will be bump-outs for the crosswalks which will help calm and slow traffic. We look forward to working with the DOT team on this great project. This is fully funded by DOT.

Finally, we have been approved by Bridge NY to replace the bridge on Cotton Hanlon Drive. This bridge, built in 1912, is rapidly deteriorating and cannot stand up much longer and needs to be replaced before something bad happens. I would like to thank our engineer from C&S Engineers, Seth Kaeuper, for his hard work in helping get this project underway. Another key to this project is Dawn Sutfin at DOT, who has been and will continue to be instrumental in helping with the funding, which will come at zero cost to the village.

Photo in text: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer.

To see Mayor Messmer's first column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's second column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's third column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's fourth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's fifth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's sixth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's seventh column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's eighth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's ninth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's tenth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's eleventh column, click here.



© The Odessa File 2022
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869