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County to consider $1.2M grant for sewer expansion

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    C-GM File A map of the route the proposed $8.5 million sewer line for the Gerald R. Simons Commerce Park will take. The Columbia County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution tonight to apply for two $600,000 state grants to help fund the sewer expansion project.
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    Nick Olivari/Columbia-Greene Media A jet on the tarmac of the county airport. The Columbia County Board of Supervisors will consider entering into a $1.7 million contract with A. Colarusso & Son, Inc., to repave the airport runway.
June 13, 2018 11:42 am

HUDSON — The Columbia County Board of Supervisors will vote tonight to allow the Columbia Economic Development Corporation to apply for $1.2 million in state funding for the county’s project to connect Ghent to the town of Greenport’s expanded waste processing facility.

The board of supervisors will consider a resolution at tonight’s meeting that would authorize the CEDC to submit two $600,000 consolidated funding applications with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Empire State Development Corporation.

The money will be used to help pay for the county’s long-term project to connect the Gerald R. Simons Commerce Park on Route 66 in Ghent to Greenport’s waste processing center.

The county previously applied for the money from both state government agencies last year, said Stuyvesant Town Supervisor Ronald Knott, who chairs the board’s Public Works Committee. The state did not approve the applications because the project, which was engineered by Morris Associates, was in the design phase and the money would not be used this year.

“We completed the engineering recently,” Knott said. “Now, we are ready to go.”

The project hit a snag when the plans were sent to the state Comptroller’s Office, which had to approve the project because rates will have to change for users of the waste plant.

The state Comptroller’s Office took a long time to approve the project setting back the schedule several months, Knott said.

The $8.5 million plan — one of two that were considered — is a response to a DEC consent order issued in March 2016 requiring the county to find a permanent solution to the sewage problem at the commerce park.

Two county facilities for the sewer district provide service to the commerce park — a larger one that serves the commerce park and a smaller sand filter that serves the Columbia County Airport, which will be decommissioned, after connecting the airport to the pipeline.

The larger facility processes about 16,000 gallons of waste per day during dry conditions and 34,000 during wet conditions. The county has to ask the DEC each year to use the existing facilities, which discharge into the Mud Creek tributary.

The DEC approved the county’s plan last year, but the county will need a six- to nine-month extension on the consent order because of delays at the Comptroller’s Office.

The state Environmental Facilities Corporation will provide 25 percent of the sewer line cost with the balance in the form of an interest-free loan over the next 30 years, according to a statement released by the board of supervisors.

The sewer line is slated to run along the right-of-way of route 66 to the Greenport facility.

The estimated annual cost to taxpayers to repay the bond is $149,447, based on parcels within the sewer district owned by the county.

Users of the line could see rates increase from $22.16 per 1,000 gallons of waste to $41.14 per 1,000, Columbia County Controller Ron Caponera said last year.

“With the grant money, users may not see that much of a rate increase,” Knott said. “We had to show people the worst-case scenario.”

Grant applications are due July 28, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo usually announces the award winners in December, said F. Michael Tucker, CEDC president and CEO.

The board of supervisors will also consider a $1,783,951 construction contract with A. Colarusso & Son, Inc., of Hudson, to rehabilitate the 20-year-old asphalt runway pavement at the Columbia County Airport. The project will replace the existing runway edge lighting and replace existing airside aeronautical guidance signage.

The project was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the annual review of the county’s airport Capital Improvement Plan. The county will pursue the 5 percent state Aviation Grant funding for the project, said Ghent Town Supervisor Michael Benvenuto, who chairs the county’s airport subcommittee.

The board of supervisors is scheduled to meet 7:40 p.m. tonight at 401 State St., Hudson.