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Elizabethtown needs sewer for growth

The town of Elizabethtown is planning for a new sewer system.

The town of Elizabethtown is planning for a new sewer system.

The Elizabethtown sewer project is in need of 150 signatures and $6.5 million in grant money to be shovel ready.

The sewer project is proposed to connect the homes and businesses in the hamlet to one central sewer system by building four treatment facilities around the hamlet. Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley, hopes it will enable growth opportunities in the town.

“We have some of the best public water systems in the North Country,” Bartley said. “But we need this system for the future growth of this town.”

On Feb. 1, Bartley and Donald Fletcher and Liz Urban, of Barton & Loguidice engineering, led an informational meeting for members of the community to discuss the status of the sewer project for the hamlet.

The town is looking for zero percent interest loans and grant money to furnish the remaining $6.5 to complete the project.

Similar projects have been proposed in the past and planned for the town. In 1966, a plan to build a water treatment plant was turned down in its final process due to lack of funding. Bartley hopes this project will not lose momentum at this stage in the planning process.

Another piece missing for the project to be shovel ready are 150 easements, obtained through the signatures of property owners granting one-time permission for workers to have a right-of-way access to the outside of their homes. Workers will be able to connect the homes to the system and old septic tanks will be pumped, filled and sealed.

Property owners that sign the easement will have their homes hooked to the new system at no cost to them, Bartley said. The move will raise property tax by $364 per year for town residents. Owners who choose not to have their property hooked to the main system, if they choose at a later time to connect will have to pay out of pocket for their hookup and will still have to pay the increase in taxes.

“What we’re in the process of now is making decisions for the future of Elizabethtown,” Bartley said. “It’s not a solution for tomorrow or next week, and not something all of us may get to benefit from. We’re really looking to the future.”

The sewer system would not only lead to potential new business but would sustain existing businesses to keep more residents in Elizabethtown.

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