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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 20, 2010

Village applies for state funds to upgrade wastewater plant

By Jo E. Prout

ALTAMONT — The village’s proposed wastewater plant upgrade may be financed partly with funds from the state’s Environmental Facilities Corporation programs, Trustee Chris Marshall said this week.

Marshall told the village board last week that village engineer Barton and Loguidice is helping Altamont request a low-interest loan for the project.

“Our engineering firm has prepared the initial application,” Marshall told The Enterprise. “There are several upgrades in our long-range plan. This would be…for the initial upgrade, which is bringing in some new equipment to handle the excess water that comes in when we have a weather situation.”

In December, Richard Straut, an engineer at Barton and Loguidice, outlined a plan for the village board that would take 15 years and cost $3.7 million to address the two-fold problem of village-wide pipe leaks and an aging sewer plant that, during heavy rain or snow, violates environmental laws by releasing polluted stormwater.

The EFC project would not begin until the next fiscal year, which would be in June 2011, Marshall said. “We’ve got time to look into financial resources. We are exploring some other potential monies.”

In the meantime, she said, “Our initial application is in.”

According to the EFC website, Altamont has two portions of the proposed upgrades on the multiple-year project list. The first is an $885,000 allotment to upgrade Altamont’s Sequencing Batch Reactors. The SBRs will help control the inflow and infiltration when the village gets a big snow run-off or a large rainstorm, Marshall said.

The second portion is slated for additional sewage treatment plant improvements totaling $4,068,000, according to the state’s multiple-year project list, which lists Altamont’s projects as eligible, but not yet financed.

“It takes a while to hear back from the state,” Marshall said.

Timothy McIntyre, superintendent of Public Works for Altamont, could not be reached for comment.

While the village officers spoke in December about new technologies, SBRs are a technology that has been around for years. The town of Guilderland upgraded its SBRs five years ago. Bill West, the superintendent of Water and Wastewater Management for the town, said that the equipment installed then runs well, with only minor mechanical or software glitches. With four SBR units, West said, flow can be switched from one unit to another while maintenance is performed.

Marshall said that community input will be “critical” farther down the line, but that “a lot of pieces have not been tentatively worked out.”

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