Lake George Sewer Plant Plans OK’d by State

Sun Community News

For many years, Lake George Village government has been formulating plans to modernize their treatment of municipal sewage to curb pollution of groundwater that eventually seeps into the lake, causing algae blooms.

In the past 17 days, the project took several major steps forward.

On March 8, the state Department of Environmental Conservation granted approval to final engineering plans for a new wastewater treatment plant, predicted to cost $22 million.

The plans were essentially the same as those presented to the village board in September. The village subsequently advertised for bids, and received substantial response, village Mayor Robert Blais said Monday.

No fewer than 30 representatives of construction firms were given tours May 22 of the existing plant and the adjacent site for the new plant — to give the contractors information they may need to prepare their bids.

It looks like there’s a lot of interest in the project,” Blais said, noting that he and other village board members are expecting construction to start this summer, likely in July.

The new plant is to be built just south of the existing treatment plant on spare land that the village owns.

Recently, as many as 30 trees — mostly large pines — were removed from an area between the Northway and the existing plant so that the contractor building the new facility will be able to get their heavy equipment to the construction site without disturbing the present plant’s sand filtration beds and leach field.

Blais said that plans call for replanting trees after the construction of the new plant has concluded and the old plant is demolished.

FUNDING

Blais said that no new grant funds have yet been pledged toward the project beyond the $7.5 million that’s been promised by the state.

Blais has predicted that without more grant funding, local taxpayers would face tax increases of up to 15 percent, or nine times the increase allowed under the state tax cap.

In February, EDC Warren County President Ed Bartholomew and Fund for Lake George Director Eric Siy testified at a joint legislative hearing about the pressing need for more grant funding — at the very least, $6.5 million more to avoid what Blais has called a potential “crushing burden” on taxpayers.

On Sunday, the Albany Times-Union carried an editorial citing that the state had “an obligation” to commit more money to the plant, as the purity of one of the state’s greatest assets is at risk.

Some relief, however, just might be in the works. Blais said he recently received a call from the state budget office seeking additional information about the village’s financial status and the plant’s financing, and he sent off a packet of information to comply with the request.

To read the original piece, visit suncommunitynews.com.

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