LAKE PLACID - The state Environmental Facilities Corporation has approved $10 million in grants and low-interest loans for sewer-improvement projects in Lake Placid and Bloomingdale.
The communities will use the money for projects that rehabilitate aging sewer systems and reduce the risk of raw sewage getting into nearby water bodies.
Lake Placid is set to get $3.8 million in interest-free and low-interest financing, plus a $1 million Green Innovation Grant. Upgrades are intended to reduce the risk of sewage overflow into the West Branch of the AuSable River, including the replacement of a deteriorated trunk sewer line leading to the village's treatment plant, removal of the Power Pond dam, restoration of a stream bed and some restoration work along the Chubb River after Power Pond is drained.
Village Mayor Craig Randall said the village knew about the money last year, and it's getting close to starting the project. Village board members recently awarded the construction bid to Kubricky Construction, based in Wilton, and Randall said the village is working on finalizing a contract with the company.
"They will be starting that project within a matter of days," Randall said last week.
The village has started lowering the water level in the Power Pond area in preparation for that work, he said.
"So in the next few days, we can expect to see some construction work actually get going," Randall said.
He said the village expects the company to work until early December, then put a pause on the project until spring 2014. It hopes to have construction completed by late 2014.
For the town of St. Armand, centered on the hamlet of Bloomingdale, the EFC approved a $2 million grant and $2.8 million in no-interest financing. The money is set to improve the town's wastewater treatment plant and River Road Pump Station. According to the EFC, those improvements would ensure more consistent treatment of wastewater, helping the plant to produce clean, safe discharges into Sumner Brook while bringing the plant into compliance with environmental regulations.
The pump station pumps all the town's waste into its treatment plant. Upgrades like a new grit-removal system are expected to extend the life of pumps and other downstream equipment.
St. Armand is also set to overhaul its sewer infrastructure at the treatment plant to help treat waste more efficiently. The town intends to replace worn-out equipment including aeration piping and lagoon liners, install chemical addition equipment and build a new control building. It also intends to add solar photovoltaic panels at the treatment plant to offset the facility's operating costs.
Town Supervisor Charles Whitson Jr. said his municipality also found out about the EFC money a while ago, but it was only recently that he found out the town will get a $422,000 grant from the state Department of Economic Development.
Whitson said his town is still seeking more grant money for the $4.9 million project. AES Northeast in Plattsburgh is the engineering firm the town is using, and the company is currently drawing up plans for the project, he said. The town hopes to complete the work by 2016, with the construction lasting about a year and four months, Whitson said.
Other EFC money
The EFC also approved $450,000 in interest-free loans to refinance the town of Warrensburg's wastewater treatment plant.
"The Environmental Facilities Corp. is pleased to have been able to work with the village of Lake Placid, the town of St. Armand and the town of Warrensburg to find affordable solutions to their clean water needs," EFC President and CEO Matthew Driscoll said in a press release. "Under the leadership of Governor (Andrew) Cuomo, EFC remains committed to working with municipalities throughout New York state to protect the quality of our water by financing critical water pollution projects at the lowest possible cost."
Funding was made available through New York's Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is jointly administered by EFC and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.