By Martha E. Conway
(Town of Sullivan, NY – Aug. 25, 2012) About 140 people turned out Saturday morning to hear the proposed construction schedule for the Bridgeport Sewer District project. After more than four years’ planning, construction crews are expected to break ground, possibly in multiple locations, after Labor Day.
Supervisor John M. Becker introduced engineer Christian Lawton of Barton & Loguidice, who presented the project details. Becker said the project bids came in $1.8 million under projections, allowing architects to redesign the project to include individual grinder pumps for each home.
Lawton said the tentative start date is Sept. 4, with completion expected by Dec. 31, 2013. He said there are three areas of focus in the district – the Route 31 corridor, hamlet and lakeshore are – which will comprise the Bridgeport Sewer District. He said if multiple crews are available, they will begin work in multiple locations of the project.
Easements are about 85 percent complete, Lawton said, which will not hold up the contractors’ work, but will hold up the homeowners from being delivered grinder pumps.
Lawton said B&L is working with the town to develop a list of approved contractors to assist homeowners in finding someone to hook their grinder pump to their home. He said the cost is projected to be about $25 to $35 per linear foot and will be a one-time expense to the property owner.
The town has obtained a $400,000 grant to help defray that one-time cost for eligible homeowners. (See companion story.) That aid may also help low-income residents decommission their septic systems.
All other costs are covered under the debt service and grand funding of the entire project.
According to Lawton, there are a number of areas in which residents can save money. He said they can opt to help with digging trenches, backfilling trenches, running/modifying interior piping and surface restoration.
Exterior piping must be done by a contractor to preserve the integrity of the system, Lawton said, adding that the code enforcement officer must inspect piping before trenches are backfilled.
The project is being funded in part by a $6,193,000 grant from Rural Development and a 30-year, no-interest loan of $7,793,000. Lawton said that loan will be repaid through a unit charge of $441 per year per equivalent dwelling unit beginning in 2014. Money will be collected next year to prepare for that payment, which is due Jan. 1, 2014.
A $280 a year treatment charge will be paid to the village of Sylvan Beach for a treatment and transmission charge. That fee may be somewhat variable, Lawton said, as dictated by treatment expenses and facility upgrades that may be required. He said that expense has only risen about $30 in 30 years.
After the debt service is paid off, residents will no longer pay the $441, he said.
A portion of that $441 is for operation and maintenance, providing for system upgrades and replacement equipment in the future, Lawton said, and if more people are added to the district, the costs will be lowered.
He said a local contractor will be identified to service the equipment on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis in the event of emergency outages. Lawton said in the event of power outages, people won’t likely use a lot of water, but that the grinder pumps do have some capacity, and they also have receptacles for generator hook-up.
“There are ways to pump them out if there is an extended power outage,” Lawton said.
Pump stations will be located at Harbour Towne, the Bridgeport Fire Department field and across from the Union Hotel on Bridgeport-Kirkville Road. With the exception of the equipment at the BFD, Lawton said the other facilities will be unobtrusive.
According to Lawton, part of the plan includes an engineer’s office on Hitchcock Point Road. He said there will be office hours there and a mailbox for questions or concerns when the office is not staffed.
For more information on the Bridgeport Sewer District, call the Town Supervisor’s Office at 315.687.9190.
In other business
Becker told the crowd he had heard rumors that residents in the Lakeport-Bridgeport area of the town had expressed they do not want or need a grocery store in the Route 31 area of Sullivan.
“Can I see a show of hands how many people think you need a grocery store?” Becker asked.
Nearly every hand in the auditorium shot up, accompanied by hooting, whistling and applause.
According to Becker, the Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe planned for the Harbor Lights Business Park should be open and ready for business by Memorial Day weekend next year.