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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 1, 2009

Berne approves sewer cost increase

By Zach Simeone

BERNE — The cost of the long-awaited sewer project for the hamlet of Berne has increased from $2.5 million to $3.6 million.

The planned sewer system would be the first municipal system in town. It was required by the state because sewage from private septic systems was seeping into the Foxenkill. [For more recent news on the sewer project, go to www.altamontenterprise.com and look under archives for Aug. 6, 2009].

At a special meeting last week, the four town board members who were present voted in favor of the increase; Councilman James Hamilton was absent. The board also scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. to hear from town residents on whether or not the town should take certain properties for use in the sewer project by eminent domain, which involves seizure of private property for public use, with compensation to the owner.

According to Councilman Joseph Golden, the town board has the option of creating an advisory committee for the new sewer district once it is operational.

“But, it can’t have spending authority, which means the town board is fiscally responsible,” Golden said of the committee.

As for when construction will actually begin, “The first trigger will be getting the bids out and seeing how they come back,” Golden said. “But the eminent domain proceedings have to be completed before the project can go out to bid.”

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