$1M sewer grant approved

JOHNSTOWN -The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewaster Treatment Facility’s $7 million plant upgrade is officially receiving a $1 million boost through the Empire State Development Corp.

“This project has officially been approved for funding,” facility consultant George Bevington told the cities’ Joint Sewer Board recently at the plant.

The ESD in December had approved the grant, but the process had to undergo several reviews before it was final. Bevington said the state, for example, needed insurance documentation from C.O. Falter Construction Corp. of Syracuse. The firm is being paid $3.9 million for general construction work.

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 growing business in the area, including expansion of yogurt maker Fage USA at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Bevington also reported facility Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick submitted a $2 million grant application to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to convert plant digester gas to electricity.

“It has gotten noticed by NYSERDA,” Bevington said.

He said the authority sent back a six-page comment letter, with questions. He said a sewer plant response was being mailed out this week.

NYSERDA has about $20.4 million available in funding statewide on a first-come, first-served basis. According to the authority website, the funding is available through 2015 to support installation and operation of anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity systems in the state. Up to $2 million is available per project, depending on project specifications.

Bevington said the sewer plant staff was “pretty active” in managing grants in February.

He also reported on ongoing activity with the upgrade, noting equalization tank construction has “continued.”

Bevington said the tank’s “complex” concrete beams were completed, manholes were delivered and wall construction is underway. He said the facility is awaiting decking materials. He said a dividing wall for the tank is separating dairy wastewater from water being analyzed by HydroQual Inc., an environmental engineering and consulting firm also using the tank.

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