Beech-Nut to help fund water, sewer improvements

Beech-Nut has agreed to fund over $4.5 million in improvements to the city’s water and sewage system

Categories: Schenectady County

Beech-Nut has agreed to fund over $4.5 million in improvements to the city’s water and sewage systems, Montgomery County officials said Friday.

The Common Council is expected to vote on the proposed agreement Tuesday.

Montgomery County Economic Development and Planning Director Ken Rose said Beech-Nut has allocated $1.525 million in cash and a $3 million legislative appropriation for infrastructure improvements to the city in anticipation of the company’s needs.

Beech-Nut’s 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility under construction in the Florida Business Park is expected to be the largest user of the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants. A study done by Schenectady-based engineering firm McDonald Engineering found that the plant would increase solids handled at the city’s wastewater treatment plant by 50 percent. Beech-Nut’s plant is expected to discharge 750,000 to 1 million gallons of wastewater per day.

McDonald Engineering said upgrades to the city’s water and wastewater treatment facilities and to sewer and water mains in anticipation of Beech-Nut would cost about $4.4 million.

Beech-Nut spokesman Earl Wells said contracts have not been formalized yet. The company was waiting on approval from the Common Council, among other things, he said.

Wells said negotiations seem to be heading toward an agreement, but he didn’t want to comment specifically.

“Everything should be finalized and resolved and we’ll probably have a formal announcement next week,” he said.

County officials thought they would be receiving grant money from the state to pay for the improvements, but the money was rolled into Beech-Nut’s $124 million state incentive package and Beech-Nut didn’t want to turn it over.

In January, Beech-Nut representatives said the company was not willing to pay for improvements to the city’s 1970s-era facilities because the work would have to be completed anyway, even without the demands of the new Beech-Nut plant.

Rose did not cite any specific reason Beech-Nut representatives decided to change their mind.

“These things have a way of working themselves out through the negotiating process,” Rose said.

Alderman William Wills, D-4th Ward, was excited about the news, saying that things aren’t as bad in Amsterdam as they seem.

“You know, I think it’s a credit to [the city] administration for being on top of things,” Wills said.

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