Lake George LAKE GEORGE — Choking back tears, Lake George Mayor Blais spoke to 35 or so village employees about Sewer Plant Superintendent Reggie Burlingame and his dedication during his decades of work for the village.
The gathering was to re-dedicate the road to the sewer plant as “Burlingame Boulevard in his honor.
“Through thick or thin, day or night, he wa there for us,” Blais said as Superintendent of Public Works Dave Harrington unveiled the new road sign. “His first priority was always to protect the lake and the interests of local citizens.”
Burlingame reacted to Blais’ words with a broad smile and sparkling eyes.
“It’s so great to work with the village trustees and all the employees,” he said. “They know they live in the most beautiful place in New York State.”
Burlingame presided over the sewer plant during the era that sewer treatment became ever more technical and highly regulated, Blais said, noting that Burlingame was in charge when many upgrades were installed to keep ahead of regulations.
He also was in charge and responded with diligence, Blais said, during the 2009 sewer leak incident, which prompted system enhancements surpassing state standards.
Village Superintendent of Public Works Dave Harrington said Burlingame worked well with others in carrying out tasks, including planning for the installation of $1.56 million of denitrification equipment at the plant that will both increase capacity and boost quality of the plant outflows. this project is scheduled to be completed next October.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better guy to work with,” Harrington said. “He knew everything about wastewater treatment, and he always made me look good.”
Burlingame started out 22 years ago as foreman of the sewer plant, and in the late 1990s, was promoted to Chief Wastewater Operator. About 18 months ago, Burlingame semi-retired, shifting to part-time work in the position. The move was prompted by his diagnosis of throat cancer. Family members say the cancer was in remission, but now it has returned.
Burlingame’s full-time replacement, Tim Shudt, is now on the job, and Burlingame is teaching him what he needs to know to continue smooth operation of the sewer plant, Harrington said.
Burlingame said he was happy with the recognition of his years of work.
“Lake George has been really great to me,” he said.
Reggie’s wife Elly Burlingame said she deeply appreciated the road re-dedication in the name of her husband.
“This is a wonderful tribute,” she said. “It truly honors the legacy he’s leaving for the Village.”