GLENS FALLS Municipalities in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties will seek state funding to begin construction of a regional sewer system that has been discussed for about 7 years.
A new Adirondack Gateway Council study identified $102 million in infrastructure construction necessary to have capacity to meet development trends for the next 20 to 25 years.
“It’s a fairly ambitious project. It would probably be done in a phased approach,” said Donald Fletcher, a consultant on the project, at a presentation at Crandall Public Library on Thursday.
The study identified $20 million of improvements necessary at Glens Falls and Washington County wastewater treatment plants, and $82 million for other infrastructure.
The study recommended installing or replacing 36 miles of pipe and constructing or improving 14 pump stations across an eight-municipality area that includes Glens Falls, Queensbury, Moreau, South Glens Falls, Kingsbury, Hudson Falls and the village and town of Fort Edward.
A list of where specific infrastructure improvements would be made has not yet been compiled, said Edward Bartholomew, chief executive officer of Adirondack Gateway Council and president of EDC Warren County.
The council is preparing a funding request for municipalities to submit in the next round of state economic development council grants, Bartholomew said.
The amount of the request has not yet been determined, but it likely would be for a first phase of the $102 million improvements, not all of them, said Fletcher, vice president of Barton & Loguidice, an engineering and planning consulting firm.
The proposed improvements would address a critical shortage of sewer capacity in Kingsbury, Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, and expand capacity in other communities.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2012 requested a moratorium on new connections to the Washington County wastewater treatment plant in Fort Edward, which serves Fort Edward, Kingsbury and Hudson Falls.
Local government officials and business leaders began discussing the feasibility of a regional sewer system in 2008, when the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce initiated a series of meetings on the topic.
In November 2011, the Adirondack Gateway Council received a $750,000 federal Department of Housing and Urban Development grant for a 3-year regional planning process that has included plans for sewer infrastructure, agriculture development, broadband/cellular infrastructure and transportation/housing.
Bruce Hoch, managing director of DCG Corplan Consulting, will now weave the four individual plans into a regional economic development strategy.
A separate $800,000 state Department of State grant is paying to evaluate and recommend a governing structure for the regional sewer system and to develop a plan for a regional sludge disposal or processing facility.
One option is for the regional sewer system to operate under a series of intermunicipal agreements, such as the sewer contract between Glens Falls and Queensbury, Fletcher said.
Another option would be to establish a regional authority.
The state-funded study is expected to be finished in July.
The regional sewer plan, and other documents in the HUD planning process, can be viewed at agcny.org.
Adirondack Gateway Council is a planning and grant writing consortium of local governments, economic development groups and planning agencies in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties.