Schenectady County

Officials weigh cost of building sewer plant

Scotia and Glenville are moving ahead to study whether they should build a joint sewer plant.

Scotia and Glenville are moving ahead to study whether they should build a joint sewer plant.

Both the Glenville Town Board and Scotia Board of Trustees want to hire a consultant to revisit the issue analyzed by Delaware Engineering in 2007. That study concluded that it would cost $12 million to build the facility, which both municipalities determined was cost-prohibitive at the time.

However, Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle brought the issue to the table again because the town’s costs to discharge sewage to the city of Schenectady has risen from about $300,000 in 2008 to $455,000 this year. Scotia paid a little more than $700,000 in 2011.

Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg said other factors are that the aging Schenectady plant will need millions of dollars worth of upgrades and there is concern that new development in Glenville including at its industrial park would stress the system.

“It make sense to at least take a look,” he said.

Town Public Works Commissioner Tom Coppola estimated that it would cost about $8 million to $10 million to make necessary upgrades to the Schenectady plant. Glenville would be responsible for paying down a portion of the debt taken on to upgrade that plant based on its flow.

However, Coppola said the advantage of building a new facility is it would have modern, environmentally friendly technology. Also, the new style of plants are built in a modular fashion, so that only as much as is needed is constructed but it can be easily expanded later, he said.

About 4 to 6 acres by the river would be needed for the plant. Coppola said one site could be Scotia’s old landfill, off Washington Avenue. The village still has an old outflow pipe at the corner of Schonowee and Washington avenues.

Koetzle said there are also possibilities for Glenville to take on other clients if it were to build its own plant. He spoke with Ballston Spa officials about extending sewer connections up Route 50.

Coppola said the town’s sewer system was designed for that kind of expansion. He is reaching out to other municipalities to determine how much growth they anticipate. Since 2007, a portion of the town of Clifton Park has connected to Glenville’s sewer system.

Other board members said the other benefit of the town running its own plant is it would be able to know and have some control over its costs going forward for both water and sewer, rather than leave its fate in the hands of someone else.

“It could be a home run for Glenville and the village of Scotia,” said Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant.

Koetzle said he thinks a study could cost $6,000 — possibly less since Delaware Engineering had done a lot of the work previously. The consultant could use that as a starting point and update as necessary.

The public works officials from both the village and the town will be getting together in the coming weeks to develop what specifically they want to include in the study.

Coppola believes it would take a month or two to do the study and nine to 12 months to build the actual plant — if that were the decision.

“If it becomes cost neutral for us to look at our own plant, we should do that,” he said.

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