The towns of Marion, Macedon, Walworth and Palmyra, as well as the village of Palmyra, are all hoping to build a new wastewater treatment plant in Wayne County.
The Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority (WCWSA) has been working with the five municipalities for several years to develop a regionalized approach to upgrading the aging wastewater treatment plants, the DEC told FingerLakes1.com.
What’s the status of the Wayne County inter-municipal wastewater plant? (video)
Water concerns and project ideas
How the water was being chemically treated and potentially put back into the environment were among the concerns brought up by community members. Many of the plants were aging and needed significant capital upgrades: Some immediately, and some within the next couple of years.
The project consists of the construction of a pump station and force main, or pipeline, from the four municipalities, Marion, Macedon and Palmyra (village and town) to the regional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
It also includes the construction of a pump station and force main from the Town of Walworth to the Town of Macedon as well as decommissioning of each communities’ current WWTP.
Marty Aman is the Executive Director of Wayne County Water & Sewer Authority (WCWSA). He said the state recognized the project’s importance and encouraged the building of this new and improved WWTP.
In July, representatives of the participating municipalities gathered at the Macedon Town Hall to see the proposed bids. The bids estimated project costs at more than double what was originally estimated.
“It resulted in the need to get together with the communities and to lay out a plan to try to best move the project forward while minimizing cost impacts,” said Aman.
Taking the steps to get underway
To help figure out how to save costs, the WCWSA looked at the pipe component and made some value engineering changes to the project which were suggested by the bidders after the bid was received.
“We’re hopeful that we’re gonna get additional bidders, and hopefully, some savings by focusing on the areas of expertise in each area. After the bid was received they gave us some ideas on how the project could be restructured to result in hopefully some significant cost savings. That’s underway right now. I’m starting the process of meeting with the town and the village of Palmyra, to re-up commitments and to take whatever steps are necessary to move the project forward,” said Aman.
“Although we have subsidized interest rates through EFC, and expect to retain those through new funding agreements, the bar has been raised significantly.”
The WCWSA is accepting the next round of bids starting August 24. In the meantime, they are applying for additional funding for the project.
For communities that have already raised their taxes, residents could see another $12 to $15 a month tacked on to their sewer bills, or about $725 annually. Aman said he feels pretty good they can attain those levels.
If the project is able to start next spring, as planned, it’s expected to take over two years to complete, with an estimated completion year of 2025.