Voorheesville Main Street sewer project becoming a reality

— From C.T. Male Associates 

A new sewer system, in blue, is proposed for Voorheesville’s Main Street and Voorheesville Avenue areas.  The proposal is to add 50 parcels along Main Street and Voorheesville Avenue, and 18 Pleasant Street homes that flow into an existing leaching field behind Village Hall. 

VOORHEESVILLE — A scaled-back version of a sewer project first proposed in 2019 could be shovel-ready within the next couple of years. 

Design of the project is nearing completion and “hopefully” construction would commence in 2023, Kathryn Serra, an engineer with C.T. Male Associates, said during a recent public meeting on the project. 

When it was proposed, in September 2019, the project was supposed to service 175 properties and cost $3.6 million — the current project will serve 68 properties and cost $1.049 million.

“This is phasing,” Mayor Rich Straut told The Enterprise in late August.

Straut said the village initially looked at extending the sewer past the railroad tracks — on Main Street crossing over the tracks where it becomes North Main Street and Voorheesville Avenue heading toward Pine Street, out of the village.

“Hopefully someday,” the mayor said of the plans. 

There were also plans for “serving everybody on Pleasant Street at one point, which may happen in the future,” Straut said. 

These two phases could still happen down the line, Straut reiterated. 

Seventy-eight properties — 50 new and 18 existing — would be eligible to tie into the new system. 

The proposal is to add 50 parcels along Main Street and Voorheesville Avenue. And the 18 Pleasant Street homes that flow into an existing leaching field behind Village Hall would be tied into the new system. 

The 50 new properties would have to install grinder pumps and sewer laterals to tie into the new sewer system. The plan for the 18 Pleasant Street homes would be a new small pump station at the tennis courts’ parking lot, behind the Legion Hall. “And we pump that up into the low-pressure sewer system,” Serra said.

No one is being required to connect to the new system, but there is still a fee for living in the benefit district. 

“How will people be charged?” Straut asked rhetorically during the Aug. 25 meeting, explaining that a single-family home is considered a benefit unit. 

“If you’re in a multi-family home,” Straut said, “usually they use a little less water per residence. So that would be 0.8 units per residence.”

Commercial use would be a minimum of one benefit unit, plus metered water usage. 

Annual cost to property owners on Main Street and Voorheesville Avenue is to be $600 per year for a single-family home, $200 per year for an unconnected property, and $160 per unconnected unit in a multi-family residence. 

For the 18 residents on Pleasant Street, who have to maintain septic systems, a single-family home, one benefit unit, would pay $450 per year, and multi-family residences, 0.8 benefit units, would pay $360 per year.

Straut estimated the cost for putting in a grinder pump and lateral to connect the village system somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. The property owners would own the grinder pump and a sewer lateral from the building to the street.

The E/One grinder pump recommended by the village has a volume of 700 gallons per day, Serra said; the typical single-family home in the village uses about 125 gallons per day. 

A hole approximately eight-feet deep and six-feet wide would have to be excavated for the grinder pump. A lateral will be run from the grinder pump to the street to connect to the village main. 

The village installed the same system along Maple Avenue a few years ago, Straut said.

The village will pay for the $1.049 million project using the following:

— New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant: $231,000 — which was originally $400,000, but project was downsized;

— Federal American Rescue Plan Grant: $283,000;

— Unreserved General Fund: $365,000;

— Sewer 1 Fund Balance: $138,400; and

— Sewer 2 Fund Balance: $31,600.

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