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Guest Column: Mayor Gerry Messmer
The following is one in a series of columns about life in Odessa written by Mayor Gerry Messmer.
ODESSA, Feb. 1, 2024 -- Good news, Odessa! This spring we will begin construction to fix the bad water in the Village, bringing clean water to everyone. The project is in two phases consisting of first replacing all of the 1938 iron water lines and other bad lines that are causing issues, followed by the complete replacement of the water treatment plant with a new, state-of-the-art treatment process and new facility for the water department to maintain the system.
We will be replacing over 18,000 feet of water main lines, upsizing some for better flow and pressure, installing all new fire hydrants -- and any house on the new water lines will receive a new service line right into their house replacing old copper, metal, or other water services. As the project begins, the contractor, Vacri, will have an on-the-ground supervisor and our DPW coordinating with those homes for access to bring you that new service line.
The project is $9.9 million, but we have secured significant amounts of grants to cover most of the costs, and whatever amount remains as a long-term bond will be at 0%!
We know this has been a long time coming, but we can finally deliver the clean water you deserve and have asked for, for years! This, coupled with the sewer system, has helped our Village grow. We now have a bakery, yoga studio, coffee shop and soon another business on Main Street if all works out. Without the sewer none of these businesses could have opened.
At the same time the water is being worked on, Vacri also won the DOT bid to replace and repair all the sidewalks on Main Street. They will be doing some nice enhancements that we hope will calm and slow traffic, and make them ADA compliant and smooth to walk on. The new sidewalk will extend all the way to the bus stop.
I have been your mayor since 2018 and it is time for me to step down in March 2025 at the end of this term. Upon completion of this term, I will have completed 39 years of public service in the Army and as your Mayor. The time is right for me to step away and truly enjoy my retirement. It is also time for someone new to step up to the plate and take Odessa to the next level.
We have so many great things happening! We have a runner’s club that will be hosting a 5K this May on our new trail, The Bucket is having its street festival again, we will be able to remove the current DPW building after the water project is done and put in public parking and a playground for the kids, and many other things.
Odessa needs new ideas, more help on the Planning Board and people to step up and make the village an even greater place to live! We are all busy, but this is our home. Please consider helping in some way ... Odessa needs you!
Photo in text: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer.
To see Mayor Messmer's first column, click here.
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869