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Potsdam looks to expand water services on Route 56

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POTSDAM — The town hopes to expand water and sewer lines up Route 56 to attract new businesses and make up for missed opportunities.

Plans for a hotel and a large housing complex on Route 56 fell through several years ago, in part because of the lack of water and sewer services, according to Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan. The town commissioned a study to see how much it would cost to extend water lines, but the project fell by the wayside when planning for the new town hall began. With construction work drawing to a close, the town board agreed Tuesday to begin looking into the topic again.

“Both buildings are pretty much done now, so we are able to start a new project,” Ms. Regan said.

A portion of Route 56, known as Outer Market Street, is run by the village of Potsdam. The area outside the village’s control has been a source of contention between the two municipalities, causing several debates over annexation over the last several years. The village, which provides water services to all its properties, used the town’s lack of such services as an argument in favor of annexation.

Tisdel Associates will provide the town with an estimate of the project’s cost by the end of the week.

Town officials will begin to pursue grants to fund the water and sewer line extension. However, since well water is already available the town’s needs may not be seen as a priority, according to Ms. Regan.

The existence of water and sewer lines may allow Potsdam to attract large businesses to Route 56, she said.

This will be a long-term project, and is not likely to be over quickly. The town is still in the early preliminary stages of research and seeking funding.

“It’s a long way off, but we have to start somewhere,” Ms. Regan said.

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