The Saratoga County Sewer District is going forward with preparations for building a second sewage treatment plant a month after some sewer commissioners questioned whether the plant was really needed.
Commissioners on Wednesday barely discussed the plans for the $64 million project, which would divert sewage from the Saratoga Springs and Wilton areas to a new plant in the northern part of the county.
Requests for proposals from engineering firms interested in designing the project are due by June 6. Commissioners voted last month to delay the request from May until June. On Wednesday, they stood by the new date.
Commission Chairman William J. Davis said he is convinced a new plant will be needed within five years, even if it isn’t needed today.
“You’ve got to plan ahead. It’s my job as chairman to look down the road,” Davis said after Wednesday’s meeting at the county sewage treatment plant in Halfmoon. “A project like this takes five years.”
He contends that growth in the Saratoga Springs area — where a half-dozen new hotels or major projects are either under construction or awaiting city approvals — shows the plant will be needed by the time it is built. The sewer line coming out of the city can handle 13 million gallons per day, and at peak times it is nearly at capacity, according to district documents.
The new plant will be built on a portion of the county landfill site in Northumberland, and sewage from Saratoga Springs would be brought to it through a new 13-mile collection pipe.
Shifting the city’s sewage to a new location would also free up room in the county’s main collection pipe running between Saratoga Springs and Halfmoon — capacity that GlobalFoundries would need if it builds a second semiconductor factory at its Fab 8 complex in Luther Forest.
District officials hope to hire a design engineering firm this year, complete design and environmental reviews by 2015 and have the plant built and ready to operate by 2017.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, district Executive Director Chad Cooke reported on progress on two current expansion projects.
Capacity expansion work is going on at the seven pumping stations around Saratoga Lake, he said, and a new sewer line is starting to be installed. The work is to be done by March 2014.
Extension of sewer service down routes 4 and 32 south of the treatment plant is about 78 percent complete, he said, and that work is to be finished by August.
Both projects are being done under a single $18.4 million contract.