Rotterdam seeking to consolidate sewer district

The sign outside Rotterdam Town Hall, located on Sunrise Boulevard in Rotterdam, is seen in this photo from April 25, 2021. 
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The sign outside Rotterdam Town Hall, located on Sunrise Boulevard in Rotterdam, is seen in this photo from April 25, 2021. 

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ROTTERDAM — Lawmakers on Wednesday will vote to approve an engineering contract for the consolidation of Sewer District No. 2, a move designed to improve efficiencies within the district and save taxpayers money.

Under the $39,600 contract, Barton & Loguidice, an Albany-based engineering firm, will create a map, plan and report for consolidating the 15 district extensions related to Sewer District No. 2, with the goal of reducing operation and maintenance costs and find other administrative efficiencies that could save taxpayers money in the long-term.

The move comes as the town prepares to begin a series of costly upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. The Town Board has already agreed to borrow $20 million to fund the project, which has been in the works for years.

Work for the project includes upgrading the 1940s-era plant to process 1.8 million gallons of wastewater per day, up from 1.5 million gallons, replacing the main line that feeds the plant and rehabilitating the system’s disinfection system, which is currently out of date.

The borrowing will likely have huge implications for the thousands of residents who rely on Sewer District No. 2 and pay an annual bill as part of the special tax district.

Residents in the district are expected to pay $306.47 for their June sewer bill, according to the town’s 2023 budget.

But the rate would climb to as much as $584, depending on grant funding, according to a study completed by Barton & Loguidice last year. The town has already secured a $960,000 federal grant, and is hoping to secure an additional $4.8 million in state funding to further offset the costs.

It remains unclear how consolidating the various sewer district extensions will ultimately impact taxpayers. 

The engineering study will examine where the users in each district are located and tabulate the type of property receiving service. From there, Barton & Loguidice will work with the town to examine the debt for each extension and determine a plan to redistribute the debt and operation costs.

Any changes would be subject to a public hearing, where representatives from Barton & Loguidice will present a Powerpoint presentation explaining the plan.

Sewer upgrades are one of just a handful the town is expected to begin in the coming months.

Last year, the town approved borrowing $34 million for upgrades throughout Water District No. 5. The project will include installing new shutoff valves, digging a new well and laying miles of new pipe, replacing the aging infrastructure that has long plagued the residents with boil water advisories and traffic delays due to burst pipes.

The town is hoping to apply for a $5 million state grant to pay for the project.

Elsewhere, the town is in the stages of an engineering study that will determine the cost of upgrading its Town Hall and police station and courthouse along Princetown Road that officials say are inadequate. The move comes after lawmakers, last year, nullified a lease agreement to relocate town facilities to the former Kmart space at the ViaPort shopping mall.

The Rotterdam Senior Center is also poised for a major renovation to its parking lot that will see the lot completely resurfaced.

The Rotterdam Town Board will meet 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, 1100 Sunrise Blvd.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

Categories: News, News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

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