State office sanctions upgrade at sewer plant

JOHNSTOWN – The state Historic Preservation Office determined the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility’s 2013 upgrade project will have no adverse impact on local resources.

Facility Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick informed the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board last week that SHPO – a part of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – ruled on the upgrade project.

“It involves refurbishing existing tanks and infrastructure,” Masick said Wednesday of the project.

He told the board SHPO determined the upgrade will have “no adverse impact upon cultural resources or historical places.”

Masick said that office’s review was a requirement of a $1 million incentive proposal offered by the Empire State Development Corp.’s grant program.

He said a copy of the SHPO approval letter was forwarded to the corporation.

He said the upgrade is for the sewer plant’s treatment “process” to deal with more waste products from the local dairy industries. Those industries include the Johnstown Industrial Park’s Fage USA yogurt plant and Euphrates cheese factory.

The state in December awarded the sewer plant $1 million to expand capacity at the sewer facility on Union Avenue in Johnstown.

Expansion is under way at Fage USA at 1 Opportunity Drive. The first phase involves building milk-receiving areas with two bays and a new road around the building. The second phase will entail additions of laboratory and research areas inside the existing building. The third phase will include a 180,000-square-foot addition to the plant.

Discharges from Fage are expected to increase from about 127 million gallons of wastewater currently to 286 million gallons by 2017.

Fage’s expansion is expected to create new 150 jobs in addition to its present staff of 240. Part of the upgrade will involve a low-energy way to pretreat the influx of dairy waste from Fage.

In another Fage matter before the board, sewer plant Fiscal Officer Donna Renda noted the Johnstown Common Council set a hearing for 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall on a $900,000 U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Public Facilities Infrastructure Grant that city and Gloversville are jointly seeking.

The hearing is part of the process to acquire a grant to assist the sewer plant with its upgrade.

Michael Anich can be reached at