Chazen in the News: Lake George extends moratorium on new sewer connections

January 3, 2018

Original Article found in THE POST STAR

LAKE GEORGE — The Village Board voted recently to extend its moratorium on sewer connections for another two years, as plans progress on building a new wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Robert Blais said the moratorium cannot be extended permanently, so it has to be renewed periodically. A public hearing on the issue will be held at the Village Board’s next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The village is under a consent order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to reduce the excessive amount of nitrates being released from the current 85-year-old sewage treatment plant.

High nitrate levels can contribute to algal blooms in the lake and degrade water quality.

Lake George officials recently learned the village would receive $2.5 million for the roughly $20 million project from the governor’s Regional Economic Development Council. That comes on top of a $4.27 million Clean Water grant the village received.

Village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington said he is waiting to hear about any more grant funding. The village has an application into the state Environmental Facilities Corp. for a loan.

The village submitted income surveys to see if it could obtain a no-interest loan based upon the median income of people in the village.

Harrington said it is looking like the village could qualify.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.

Village officials have been sitting down with The Chazen Companies to design the new plant and consider different types of technologies, according to Harrington.

Later this month, he and other village staff members are taking an overnight field trip to look at a new wastewater treatment plant in Dryden, in Tompkins County in central New York, that will look almost exactly like the one Lake George is considering. Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky is going along on the trip.

In a related move, the board voted to rehire Travis Earl as backup wastewater operator at a cost of $18 per hour. Earl had left his position in the spring after five years to explore other opportunities. The plant needs a backup operator, according to Harrington.

“We’ve been interviewing people since he left — really to no avail,” he said.