Planned sewer district revised

The latest round of construction bids for a long-planned sewer system won’t cover all of the recentl
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The latest round of construction bids for a long-planned sewer system won’t cover all of the recently downsized district, officials said Friday.

The good news, said Schoharie Supervisor Martin Shrederis, is that grants and loans planned to cover the majority of the $4.5 million project are still available.

“We had a meeting with lenders [Thursday] night,” said Shrederis, co-chairman of the Central Bridge Water and Sewer Board.

“The money is all there and everything is moving forward,” he said Friday.

Although bids are still being reviewed, construction this season “is not in doubt,” Shrederis said.

Public hearings to discuss the revised sewer district are set for 7 p.m. Wednesday in Schoharie Town Hall and Thursday in Esperance Town Hall.

The sewer district includes portions of both towns, and the joint district board includes both town councils.

After several attempts to win approval from district voters failed to increase the project’s spending cap to $6.8 million to meet higher bid estimates in March 2007, the project was scaled back over the past few months to meet the $4.5 cap approved in a 2004 referendum.

Designers had hoped to be able to find contractors able to bid several alternatives to spread the sewer system into additional streets outside the main hamlet area, but bids received last month did not meet that goal.

Based on the bid results, Shrederis said Chase Drive has been cut out of the project, as well as part of Church Street and most of Pine Hill Road.

Revised district service area maps are available for public view in town halls.

Bids from six contractors totaled $4,233,210, according to John M. McDonald Engineering, the Schenectady firm handling the design and coordinating the project.

Other funds under the $4.5 million cap have already been spent for design work, property acquisition and required archaeological studies, Shrederis said.

The treatment plant site had to be relocated to different land after studies found Indian artifacts on the original five-acre site.

Although efforts are being made to secure additional grant funding, the number of homes or buildings now likely to be served by the sewers has been cut to about 240 to 250 hookups, according to Shrederis.

That’s down from about 275 hookups that officials estimated earlier this year. Earlier plans had projected 377 units in the system.

The estimated annual charge, to be billed quarterly, still remains $544 per unit, Shrederis said.

If voters had approved the original larger project at the $6.8 million building estimate, annual cost had been estimated at about $498 per year.

One-time hookup costs to property owners would be additional.

Although voters in both towns earlier rejected the higher cap, Esperance voters approved it last year. Both portions of the district were required to agree.

After next week’s public hearings are completed, the sewer district board is expected to award construction contracts at its April 24 meeting, according to McDonald.

The apparent low bidder for the largest portion of the construction was Cranbrook Construction of Latham, which bid $2,825,669 for the sewage collection system.

The other low bidders for parts of the project are: W.M. Schultz, Ballston Spa, $1,092,420 for construction of the treatment plant; Stilsing Electric, Rensselaer, $118,300 for collection system electrical work; Phoenix Electrical, address unavailable, $147,647 for treatment plant electrical work; KLD Mechanical, East Greenbush, $27,400 for treatment plant plumbing; and Family Danz, Albany, $21,774 for heating and air conditioning at the treatment plant.

The system has been proposed for more than 10 years in an effort to eliminate long-standing sewage pollution resulting from failing private septic systems and poor drainage.

Categories: Schenectady County

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