Gloversville-Johnstown sewer plant budget rising

JOHNSTOWN – The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board recently adopted a nearly $5 million sewage treatment plant budget for 2014 that reflects a 4 percent increase from the current budget.

The board took action on the budget following a presentation given at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Officials said next year’s budget funds a 2014 capital plan, as well as all 25 current facility positions. It also provides funding as use of the facility continues to increase, and funding for all other anticipated expenses.

Adopted was a $4.96 million sewage treatment plant budget for 2014, which reflects a 4.1 percent hike over the $4.76 million budget for 2013.

Anticipated revenue in the budget includes: about $3.5 million from plant users from the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown, $900,000 from trucked waste and $600,000 in reserves.

The largest budget increase, of 5.3 percent, was in plant operations. That is the largest area of the budget and it will go from $3.01 million currently to $3.17 million in 2014. Other appropriations for plant divisions listed in the 2014 budget are: insurance and contingency – $118,000; administration – $394,105; monitoring and testing -$390,307; and benefits – $888,200.

Plant Fiscal Officer Donna Renda said Tuesday the sewer plant’s capital plan for 2014 shows an increase and totals $819,000 for next year. It drives the budget up, she said.

“That’s one of the main reasons,” Renda said.

She said the sewer plant also has simply sustained higher costs over the years. Those have included upgrades. The facility is currently involved in an $8 million upgrade project. The plant underwent a $10 million upgrade in 2008-09. Both upgrades are designed to help the sewage treatment plant treat increased waste discharges from expanding Greek-yogurt plant Fage USA at the Johnstown Industrial Park, as well as other area industries.

The 2014 capital plan includes the following projects: trunk sewer restoration – $600,000; cogen engine rebuild – $120,000; replacement of a 2003 Impala – $35,000; rebuild of a Hoffman blower – $25,000; replacement of drive chain – $24,000; and thickener building roof – $15,000.

During the past 13 years, the facility has invested $25 million to accomplish nearly 60 capital projects ranging from $10,000 to $11 million, Renda said. This reinvestment has helped keep the plant in excellent condition, able to perform at a high level in a cost-effective manner, Renda said.

Sewer rates are set by the board annually in April, taking account industrial discharges through December of the previous year. The operating budget approved last week reflects revenue from each city for next year. But officials say those figures – roughly $1.63 million from each city – are merely placeholder figures; the real amounts will depend on how much actual commercial and residential waste comes in for pretreatment from each city.

At a glance

The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment?Facility’s budget for 2014 is $4.96 million – a 4.1 percent increase over the current budget.

Key appropriations include:

plant operations – $3.17 million;

insurance and contingency – $118,000;

administration – $394,105;

monitoring and testing – $390,307;

benefits – $888,200.