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State loans to fund Lake George sewer upgrade

State loans to fund Lake George sewer upgrade

The village of Lake George is getting $1.8 million in low- and no-interest loans from the state to i

The village of Lake George is getting $1.8 million in low- and no-interest loans from the state to install new sewage pumps and related piping at the Shepard Park pump station.

The station, which is located near the lake, failed July 4, 2009, sending sewage into the lake and temporarily closing the state’s Million Dollar Beach.

The state beach, nearby Usher Park and private beaches reopened a few days later, after getting the OK from the state Health Department, but the village’s Shepard Park Beach remained closed for the rest of that summer.

The problem was a 30-year-old pipe inside the pump station that burst, dumping an estimated 10,000 gallons of raw sewage into the lake. The faulty pipe was replaced, and there have been no spills since.

The board of directors of the state Environmental Facilities Corp. approved the $1.8 million in financing for the village Tuesday. The money will be used to install new sewage pumps and complete other work “to fortify the Shepard Park pump station.”

“Protecting major water bodies like Lake George is the No. 1 priority for the Environmental Facilities Corp.,” Matthew J. Driscoll, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“The Million Dollar Beach is one of the jewels of this region and a major tourist attraction for people throughout the Northeastern United States,” Driscoll said.

EFC is providing $900,000 in short-term, no-interest financing, as well as $900,000 in low-interest financing for the purchase and installation of two new pumps and other work.

Work is expected to begin next month, with all the projects scheduled to be completed by the end of December, said Jon Sorensen, an spokesman for the Environmental Facilities Corp.

One of the pumps will be a diesel-powered backup system that will be placed outside the pump station. In 2009, the pump station flooded, causing the pumps inside the station to fail.

Locating a backup “trash” pump outside of the pump station will allow for continuous operation in the event of a flood or power failure inside the station.

A second, submersible pump is also being added to the station, bringing the total there to four.

The money will also pay for the lining of gravity sewers along the shoreline of Lake George and Canada Street, leading to the pump station. Sorensen said 6,000 feet of “slip lining” has been or will soon be installed. This lining will prevent storm water from flooding the sewer line and decrease the likelihood of sewage leaks and spills, he said.

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