March 26, 2004

Water and sewer issues between town and village

The town has posted minutes for the joint meeting of the Dryden Town Board and the Village of Dryden Board of Trustees. Most of the minutes focus on the remarkable complexities of the Cortland Road Sewer District, north of the Village, and water service in the area, though later parts of the meeting reflect a separate Town Board meeting that discussed annexation and fire contracts.

Some of the difficulties in the sewer and water situation include:

  • A contract for the Cortland Road Sewer District with a duration of no less than 20 and no more than 40 years, which appears to have expired in 2002, as the town didn't do any bonding for the work
  • A main line in that district which is too small - it was built before TC3 appeared - and which runs directly under Route 13, making it difficult to replace
  • Infiltration problems in both the town and village portions of the sewage system, letting rainwater get into the lines and overloading the system
  • Concrete tanks at the village wastewater plant which are nearing the end of their lifespan
  • Questions about who owns the pipes from the high school and TC3 to the village
  • "a pipe of clear water coming into the Village system from TC3, and it is obviously not waste, but groundwater," adding to the load on the sewer system
  • Billing questions about basing sewer charges on water usage and differences in billing between the village and the town
  • Town usage of the sewer system that is somewhere between 30% and 44% of the total

Proposed solutions aren't cheap - "the sanitary sewer improvements that are needed to handle the anticipated flows from the Cortland Road Sewer District total just over one million dollars," just for the costs in the village. The village plans to upgrade its plant to use " a process called sequencing batch reactors and the advantage of that type of treatment system is that it is controlled by electronics that allow the system to know how much flow it is seeing, how fast it is coming in, and it will actually change its own process to accommodate flows during the peak," which comes with a three million dollar price tag "for renovating and rebuilding the plant", though they hope to deal with some of that in grants.

The village is also not excited about extending water service to areas which remain in the town - "Mayor Taylor said that the Village had always been interested in doing water based on annexation."

The two boards parted agreeing to meet together to figure out ways to handle these issues.

The Town Board meeting that followed largely discussed the findings of fact for the annexation, and reflects opinions that stayed constant through the final vote.

There were two questions about the fire department contracts, one about what would happen to town money if a company disbanded or stopped replying to calls in the town, and one about whether annual audits (and the budget to pay for them) was necessary. The first question was put off until next year's contracts, while the audits seem to have remained in place, as Councilman Michaels said that he "believes yearly audits need to be done until we have a few years where there are no major issues in the management letter".

Posted by simon at March 26, 2004 8:35 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos