LAKE GEORGE — The cost to build a new wastewater treatment plant for Lake George could now reach as high as $22 million.
Village Mayor Robert Blais said Tuesday that the scope of the project has not changed, but escalating construction costs are to blame.
The village is seeking to build a new plant to replace the 85-year-old facility. Lake George is under a consent order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to reduce the excessive amount of nitrates being released from the plant, which can contribute to algal blooms in the lake and can degrade water quality.
Blais said village officials had a long meeting with engineers from the Chazen Companies and have an itemized list of what it would take to build the plant.
“We’re hoping that without any extra addendums or extra cost, it will be $20 million, but they’re telling us we need to look at borrowing up to $22 million,” he said.
The village has been able to obtain some grants to lessen the impact on local taxpayers. It was awarded a $4.27 million state Clean Water grant and $2.5 million from the governor’s Regional Economic Development Council toward the project.
The village may also qualify for an Environmental Facilities Corp. hardship grant based upon having a certain household income below the threshold. That would provide another $2 million to $3 million toward the project.
Village representatives and the engineering firm recently toured a new plant in Dryden with a design similar to the one planned for Lake George. Blais said they received feedback about what the planners would do differently in the design of the new plant.
“They’re just beginning their design, which I think will take about a year,” he said.
The plan is to build the new plant next to the existing one then switch everything over so it is a seamless transition, Blais said.
The hoped-for timeline is to complete the plans by late fall or early winter and be under construction in the spring of 2019, Blais said. The project should take about two years. That would keep the village on track to meet the deadlines specified in the consent order.
“That would be our hope,” he said.