Sewer officials from Midwest tour local plant

JOHNSTOWN – The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility has become a site sought out by those in the sewage-treatment business.

Plant consultant George Bevington recently reported to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board that sewer plant digester operators from Green Bay, Wisc., Chicago and Indiana took a tour of the local sewer plant Dec. 5.

He said the facility has been toured in the recent past by sewage professionals and other interested visitors from many states and other foreign cities, including Mexico City and Beijing.

“We’ve become a tourist spot, again,” Bevington told the board.

Bevington said the Midwest sewer plant officials spent about a half-day with operators of the local sewer plant.

“They were interested in some of the testing we do on digester liquids,” Bevington said. “We always gain as much [knowledge] as the people who come.”

In other sewer board business:

The board approved a $375 plant contract renewal with St. Mary’s Healthcare for 2014 for the Employee Assistance Program.

The program costs the plant $15 per full-time employee.

Plant administrative aide Hilary Ruzycky said the EAP contract involves confidential counseling for employees and families as part of the existing plant union contract. She said one person used the program three times last year.

The board approved the transfer of $262,849 from the Capital and Equipment Reserve Fund to the General Fund. The amount represents the difference between $337,150 of 2012 fund balance transferred to the Capital and Equipment Reserve Fund, and $600,000 from the Capital and Equipment Reserve Fund previously used for the purchase of a backhoe/loader and for the plant’s trunk sewer-line restoration project.

Also approved were numerous transfers from accounts such as $35,000 from plant equipment and $29,000 from contingency, and items in the 2013 general fund budget of $75,000 for landfill fees and $23,000 for hospital and medical insurance.

“This is basically to balance the accounts for the end of the year,” said plant Fiscal Manager Donna Renda.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.