CHATHAM — Snow removal on sidewalks in the village was the hot topic at Thursday night’s water and sewer meeting. And village officials are close to figuring out a way to replace the machine that helps keep the sewers unclogged year round.
Trustee George Grant also discussed purchasing a new sewer “jetter” to clean out blocked catch basins and plugged sewer lines. The old machine that handled this job is no longer usable, and a new machine could cost $38,000, which will become an item in the 2011-12 village budget split between the lines for the water and sewer services and the Highway Department.
At the January 27 meeting Mr. Grant, the water and sewer commissioner, said that the village has been borrowing a machine from Greenport to do the job of the jetter since the old device died. Mr. Grant said the original village router dated from the 1950s and finding a similar replacement has been difficult.
Buying a sewer jetter is more expensive he said but is better, newer technology. “While there is a $5,000 to $6,000 difference in the price, this does so much more,” he said of the new machine. He said that splitting the cost between the three departments should make it less of burden on the budget.
The need for the new equipment comes at a time when village officials are looking for $2 million for upgrades to the sewer system. They are planning to apply for state grants and loans in March. Before that, announced Mr. Grant, they will conduct a state Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for the project. The village is also paying for a land survey at the sewer treatment plant, which Mayor Paul Boehme says they will be reimbursed as part of the overall project, once the village finds a source of funds for the project.
Village residents who attended the meeting brought up the issue of snow on sidewalks, which makes it difficult to get around the village. The mayor has announced at the meetings that property owners who don’t clear their sidewalks within 72 hours after a storm will be fined and the DPW will clear the sidewalk.
Mr. Grant said that villagers who were disabled and cannot clear their own sidewalks should call the village. “If I’ve got some time, I’ll do it,” he said.
Mayor Boehme encouraged other residents to help their neighbors. “People do volunteer their time,” he said. Those who need help can call the village at 518 392-5821.
Trustee Lael Locke mentioned the snow that was piled up on Main Street.
The mayor responded, saying that if shop owners would push the snow into the street, “We’ll take care of it.”
Trustee David Chapman said officials have the same conversation with business owners every year. “This has been stated and stated,” he said of cleanup procedure. If businesses on Main Street put the snow in the street, at times when cars aren’t parked there, village crews will clear remove the snow.
The board also approved its annual property tax Grievance Day, to be held at the Tracy Memorial Tuesday, February 15. If a homeowner questions his or her village assessment, the owner needs to come to the clerk’s office at the Tracy Memorial and fill out the tax grievance form before February 15.
The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .