Sewer system expansion sought by town leaders

WARRENSBURG Town officials are seeking to expand the municipal sewer system, and they need help from residents in obtaining grant funds toward its cost. Sewer district residents are asked to return the income questionnaires to the town hall that were sent out several weeks ago, so the town can compile the information and forward it to Federal authorities. The board seeks to add about 90 more households to join the approximately 800 households now served by the system. These households eyed for inclusion are located in the area of Library Avenue and Sanford and James streets which are now just outside the perimeter of the existing sewer district. The bulk of the sewer system was built in 1993 to cover the central hamlet, and was expanded in 1998 to include northern stretches of Main St. The system was then enlarged in 2002 to accommodate Stacey St., Ridge Ave., Burdick Ave. and Skylark Lane in the southwest areas of the hamlet. The system incorporates about 10 miles of sewer mains and costs about $323,000 per year to operate, according to town records. The town is also seeking to expand the district to incorporate households may be technically out of the district, but have sewer mains running in front of their house. Many of these households are on Raymond Lane, Third and Fourth avenues and stretches of Thompson St. To date, households that have such nearby mains that have opted to connect have been billed flat charges as out-of district users, while other homeowners have opted not to hook up, but use their own private septic systems instead -- and thus not be billed. Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said Friday that for economic and public health reasons, it made sense for all households in the proximity of sewer pipe to be included in the district boundaries, hooked up and paying bills like the bulk of hamlet residents. The town is now seeking federal funds to help construct a third sewer lagoon at the municipal sewer plant on Rte. 418 to accommodate the towns growth. Obtaining those grant funds of about $600,000 is key to making the district expansion a reality, he said. Geraghty said that if the average household income is below a moderate income levels, the town is likely to secure the government funding. He said that district expansion and increasing capacity of the treatment plant made sense, considering the tracts of land in the vicinity of the town ballfields that will likely be developed within the next decade or so. Were nearing capacity in our treatment plant right now, he said. Considering the building projects on the horizon, this expansion gives us more wiggle room to add more users to the system, he said. Those people in the sewer district who do not have income questionnaires are urged to contact the town hall and obtain one, fill it out and return it to the town hall.

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