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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 8, 2009

Altamont board approves inflow study

By Saranac Hale Spencer

ALTAMONT — The village is one step closer to improving its century-old underbelly.

After hearing an hour-long presentation from Barton & Loguidice engineer and village resident Brad Grant, the board voted unanimously to approve the firm’s Sanitary System Inflow and Infiltration study for submission to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Starting in 2007, the village began a process of studying the village’s sewer system, which is a hundred years old in some areas.

“This is just the next phase of looking at the overall infrastructure of the village, in both our sewage and water lines,” Mayor James Gaughan said in March.

“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is obligated to regulate any municipal wastewater collection and treatment system,” said Richard Straut, of Barton & Loguidice, in the spring. “One thing the department of environmental conservation does is issue a permit to discharge. So basically, they will set the limits for flow and how much can be discharged into any kind of receivers of waste.”

These permits are re-issued every five years, and the summer of 2007 marked the most recent renewal of that permit. Every once in a while, there will be special conditions attached to the renewals, he said. This time around, one such condition required that the village undertake this investigation.

An average of 200,000 gallons flows through the village system on a dry day, Grant told the board on Tuesday night — that number can swell by a factor of five, to over a million gallons on a wet day.

Illustrating his presentation, Grant provided color-coded maps showing the village’s three sewer sheds and trunk sewer, which heads into the sewage treatment plant.  Much of the older part of the 9.3 miles of sewer piping in the village is made of vitrified clay pipe while the newer sections are made of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride.

The first priority, Grant said, is a sanitary-sewage monitoring program, which includes a survey to be sent to village residents.  An area of concern mentioned frequently at the meeting was the number of sump pumps emptying into the system from village basements.  The second priority, he said, is further study of the trunk sewer, to examine how much work will need to be done there.

The total estimated cost of the project is $820,000, Grant told the board.  That estimate includes all possible costs.  For example, it allows for work on the entire trunk sewer, which may not actually have to be done.

“I’d like to see a budget that’s very clear” Trustee William Aylward told Grant after expressing dissatisfaction with some aspects of the proposal.  He was the only trustee to express concerns and explained that he was asking the questions not just for himself, but for residents as well.  It is important to understand the costs of the project, he said.

Other business

In other business, the board:

— Voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to submit an application to the state’s Department of State for a shared information access project between the village of Altamont and the town of Guilderland to build a website for Altamont as a separate component to Guilderland’s website.  It will allow for video-on-demand access for municipal meetings.  The total cost for the project is $11,490 and the grant requests $10,341 — the remaining $1,149 cost is to be shared between the town and the village;

— Voted unanimously to approve the Department for Children, Youth, and Families Youth Bureau application to claim state-aid funds allocated to Altamont for $1,035 for youth recreation projects;

— Voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Court Clerk Heather DeSarbo Adams with regret.  Mayor Gaughan thanked her for her work; and

— Voted unanimously to set the general village election for March 18, 2009 at the village hall’s community room, at 115 Main Street from noon to 9 p.m.  After the meeting, Village Clerk Jean LaCrosse said that no paperwork had been filed yet, but those wishing to run for office were able to start collecting signatures on Dec. 30 and petitions will be due in the first week of February for those running for mayor or trustee.

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