Residents in Ticonderoga question sewer upgrades

Shaine’s apprehension about the repairs comes on the heels of improvements that were made per an agreement with the now-defunct Lowes store.

As terms of building the store in Ticonderoga in 2009, Lowes agreed to fix the storm sewer that was downstream from its property, a project they spent $270,000 on.

“Negotiations led Lowes to do some work, but we’re still seeing signs of discharged toilet paper,” Shaine said. “If the town is spending all this money, there should be a good feeling about the project.”

Tracy Smith, Ticonderoga’s sewer superintendent, said the town got Lowes to do the work to help save taxpayer money, and that he thinks their repairs did improve drainage in the area.

“This has been an ongoing problem for a number of years, and we have been taking steps to eliminate it,” Smith said.

He also said the Wayne Ave. and Saint Claire St. project is a high priority, and will cost the town up to $300,000, with other repairs throughout the town costing as much as $600,000.

“It’s important to note that the Wayne Ave. project is not a grant, it’s coming out of sewer fees,” Smith said. “The town is managing its money properly, so user rates shouldn’t go up by much.”

Town Supervisor Debra Malaney said Ticonderoga received planning grants last year from New York state to separate the town’s storm drains from its sewer lines, some of which are more than 100 years old.

“This will cost millions of dollars to complete,” Malaney said. “There’s no way the taxpayers could withstand that burden.”

Malaney said the Myers St. and Black Point sewer projects have already been completed, and that the local engineering firm doing the work will be considering the new senior living units when it begins the Wayne Ave. and Saint Claire St. repairs.

“Our engineering firm, Adirondack Engineering Services, will work with the hospital’s firm to ensure everything is done correctly,” Malaney said. “AES has worked on some town projects before, and has always done a stellar job.”

Malaney added that the town is just finishing a multi-year sewer plant upgrade project, and that an overhaul of the town’s sewer infrasructure is the next step.

“You have to remember, we’ve had two extraordinary storms, last year’s spring flood and tropical storm Irene, which brought unprecedented water flow,” Malaney said. “I can’t imagine any systems able to withstand that.”

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