Elizabethtown restarts sewer plans

ELIZABETHTOWN - Plans for new wastewater treatment infrastructure in the hamlet of Elizabethtown will be delayed on a technicality.

The Elizabethtown Town Board voted to re-form its proposed sewer district at its June 16 meeting after receiving a professional recommendation to correct a minor omission.

When the sewer district was first formed in March, the legal notice released included a description of the estimated per-unit cost of the project if it were to receive grant funding.

"The board has made it very clear that we will not go forward with this without grant funding," Merrihew explained.

Despite this, bond counsel Douglas Goodfriend strongly recommended that the district be re-formed so that a new legal notice can be put out that also includes a per-unit cost without grant funding; an amount 2.5 times greater than the target cost of $362.

Goodfriend had been selected by the board at the previous meeting as one of a few final steps in getting the project qualified for stimulus funding. The board also chose legal representation and determined a final site for the proposed wastewater treatment plant.

For now, however, it's back to square one as the board must hold a new public hearing on the formation of the sewer district. The board decided to hold the hearing in the old Essex County Courthouse on July 9 at 7 p.m.

Merrihew explained that the re-formation of the sewer district would mirror that which was already proposed, and that the plans for placement of the treatment plant would remain the same.

"I don't think we can re-emphasize enough," said councilman Phil Hutchins, "what we're doing here is to go to public hearing to clear up some technicalities that our bond counsel feels needs to be addressed."

"There will be another stimulus consideration in late fall and spring," said Merrihew, who hopes to have the project ready by then. He said the delay will provide more chances for public input.

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