By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The Aluminum Trail project may not be dead after all.
On Wednesday, the village board voted to spend up to $16,600 for preconstruction services and asbestos screening at the footbridge.
Mayor Tim Currier said since the village will be on the hook for about $300,000 if they don’t finish the project, he wants to work with the Department of Transportation to reduce the scope to that cost so they can at least get something out of it.
“The sole purpose of course is let’s not jump in” in case of “problems we’re not aware of like deterioration,” Currier said.
The village board on Sept. 5 decided to back out of the Aluminum Trail project, which will put the village in debt $252,000 to the state Department of Transportation.
The 4-0 vote came after DPW Superintendent Hassan Fayad told local lawmakers that it will cost $546,000 to finish the project.
Many of the board members blamed the state for the project languishing for over a decade, claiming the state kept hitting them with additional costs, and they feared that would continue if they decided to see it through.
The project started over a decade ago under then-mayor Ken MacDonnell. It was supposed to go from East Orvis Street to the Intake. After many years of inaction, it had been reduced to improving the footbridge.
So far, the village has spent $315,000 and $252,000 of that was reimbursed through the Transportation Enhancement Program, administered by the state Department of Transportation, which they will have to repay if the project doesn’t get done.