Cost of fixing village sewer nearly doubles

VALATIE – An upgrade of the sewer system in the village originally expected to cost $200,000 is now projected to cost $350,000. At this week’s Village Board meeting, board members discussed the new price tag for the upgrade as well as methods of funding the rest of the sewer improvements, which are anticipated to cost over $3 million.

Mary Beth Bianconi, a senior project manager for Delaware Engineering P.C., attended the regular board meeting Tuesday, June 14 to discuss the project and funding. She said her company, which has been working with the village on water and sewer issues for several months, thinks the village will need to pay $350,000 for Phase One of a $3.2-million project to fix pumps and other equipment associated with the processing of waste at the sewer plant. Phase One should be completed by the end of this year, just in time for Delaware Engineering to submit paperwork to the state for a no-interest loan and grants to help pay for the rest of the project.

Though the board approved issuing a bond for $200,000 last winter for Phase One, Ms. Bianconi said Tuesday night that she will be back in front of the board in July to ask trustees to fund the rest of the project.

“We don’t want to run cash-short on this when we’re doing construction,” said Mayor Gary Strevell. One pump on the 30-year-old sewer treatment plant is already been removed for repairs and the back-up pump is not functioning well, Ms. Bianconi said. The village has installed a temporary pump to run system until Phase One of the project can be completed.

“You have $200,000, so we can get a long way,” said Ms. Bianconi of the work. But she said buying new equipment would eat into the budget, hence the need for the additional $150,000.

A few months ago the total project, including the Phase One, was proposed as costing $2.3 million. That project now will cost $3.2 million, but Ms. Bianconi assured that village that after doing an income survey last year, the village will qualify for a hardship rating, making it easier for the village to obtain grants and no-interest loans.

Mayor Strevell also said he is looking at ways to refinance loans the village is already paying off for upgrades to the water system. He said paying 4% interest on that project, the village still owns $1.3 million. Mr. Strevell is making inquiries about lower interest rates.

The next village meeting is Tuesday July 12 at 7:30pm in the Village Town Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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