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What you need to know for 05/01/2017

Engineering firms tabbed for Saratoga County sewage plant study

Engineering firms tabbed for Saratoga County sewage plant study

Two Syracuse engineering consultants will be hired to look at what the Saratoga County Sewer Distric

Two Syracuse engineering consultants will be hired to look at what the Saratoga County Sewer District needs to do if future growth outstrips the capacity of the existing sewage treatment system.

O’Brien & Gere and Barton & Loguidice, both based in the Syracuse but with Albany offices, will be paid $85,000 for a study that will review the need for a second county sewage treatment plant.

“We want a consultant to review the complete area within the sewer district to analyze when and how the north plant should be built,” said William Davis, chairman of the county sewer commissioners.

Sewer commissioners have recommended the hiring, and the Board of Supervisors will vote on it Tuesday in Ballston Spa. It cleared a key committee vote Wednesday and is certain to pass.

The hiring of O’Brien & Gere follows questions in recent months about the need for a second plant.

Under the plan discussed for several years, a new sewer plant would be built in Northumberland, and waste generated from Saratoga Springs and Wilton would go to that plant, instead of the existing plant in Halfmoon. The cost of developing the new plant has been estimated at $64 million.

Some engineers have suggested growth in those communities could also be addressed by building a second trunk line between Saratoga Springs and the Halfmoon plant. The existing trunk line is nearly at full capacity.

Davis said he remains convinced of the need.

The sewer district has already acquired 16 acres next to the former county landfill site in Northumberland as a place to build the plant. Davis said he wants to see the district acquire all needed rights-of-way in 2014.

The county’s established sewer plant in Halfmoon has been expanded twice since 1998 to handle new residential and commercial growth in the county, and Davis said he doesn’t want to see that scenario play out with any north plant.

“We want to be sure we get it right,” he said.

The last expansion of the Halfmoon plant, in 2008-10, cost $52 million and was tied in large part to the arrival of the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant, which has the potential to generate 10 million gallons of industrial wastewater per day.

Many people believe GlobalFoundries will expand in the future and bring support and supply companies — and new residents — with it.

“There’s so much going on in the county,” Davis said.

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