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As Ithaca Grows, Housing Moves Closer To Wastewater Treatment Plant

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) - As Ithaca continues to grow, officials face new challenges. At a special committee meeting at the city's wastewater treatment plant on Wednesday, committee members and Mayor Svante Myrick discussed how to best inform potential residents near the plant of what it does.

The water treatment plant want to reduce the chances of complaints by having new owners and tenants sign a disclosure document that explains what the plant does.

The condos are part of a larger plan to develop and introduce residential housing to Ithaca’s waterfront. 

A committee of the Common Council recently tabled the ordinance when it was clear it would be voted down. This will allow for it to be revised and re-submitted at a later date.

The ordinance would have required residents and owners of homes within 1,200 feet of the plant to sign a notice acknowledging that they know the plant is occasionally is the source of noise, odors and truck traffic.

Myrick was at the meeting to discuss alternatives.

"This is all resulting from a change in land use, right?" said Cynthia Brock, who chaired the special meeting. "This is all industrial there is no housing here. So, we are introducing a new land use and with that we have the opportunity to educate...which actually this is a new kinda phase for us."

Committee members debated the best way to inform potential residents without sounding alarmist. The mayor expressed concerns about the political blowback from having required notification.

Some suggested education tours available to neighbors. While others suggested some for of advance information was necessary rather than letting people move in and then make them aware of the plant's proximity.

The mayor and the committee agreed to consider different wording, alternatives to an ordinance, and to talk to nearby towns about how they handle the similar issue because of agricultural districts.