Sewer upgrade plan moves ahead

JOHNSTOWN – Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility officials this week said construction and financing for the facility’s ongoing $7 million upgrade project are coming together.

The facility in December heard that Empire State Development approved a $1 million grant for the upgrade project.

The sewer plant underwent a similar $10 million upgrade in 2008. Both upgrades are designed to help the sewage treatment plant treat more waste from local industries, including the expanding Greek yogurt plant Fage USA in the Johnstown Industrial Park. The current project is scheduled to be completed this year.

Wastewater engineer Tyler Masick told the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board on Wednesday that a public hearing on the $1 million grant was conducted this week at Johnstown City Hall. He said the state Public Authorities Control Board must still approve the Empire State Development funding before it can be released to the sewer plant.

The new grant money will pay for a portion of the cost of machinery and equipment to install sewer piping, an equalization tank, process tanks and pumps to accommodate the expansion of Fage.

Masick said the sewer plant at this time is at capacity for pretreating whey, but is treating Fage’s wash water.

C.O. Falter Construction Corp. of Syracuse is being paid $3.93 million for general construction work associated with the sewer plant upgrade.

“Construction has been ongoing,” Masick said. “There was a little break over the holidays.”

He said an old tank is being reconverted and more demolition work was being done this week. Masick said contractors next week will pour concrete for temporary structures to be used in the upgrade.

Masick said Milton CAT of Clifton Park, which was awarded a $761,600 engine and electrical switch-gear bid, informed him the facility’s third engine as part of the upgrade is in Syracuse and available for delivery.

The sewer plant is expected to receive at least $4 million in grants for the upgrade. The project is receiving a $500,000 grant from National Grid, as well as state and federal funding. The city of Johnstown is borrowing for the project, expecting reimbursement later.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at