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March 16, 2017

Legislature to Reach Important Milestone on State-Mandated Sewer District Project

 The Rensselaer County Legislature will consider a resolution at the March 16 meeting that if approved, would mark an important milestone in a state-ordered project involving the county Sewer District for several years and help improve the quality of the Hudson River, Chair of the Legislature Stan Brownell announced. 

The County Legislature is set to consider a $3 million bond that would be the final component of a state-ordered Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan signed in December 2013. The CSO LTCP also applied to several Capital Region municipalities who included in what is known as the Albany Pool.  

“This is a major step forward for Rensselaer County and brings us closer to successfully completing this state-mandated series of projects. We can be proud of this effort by our team in the county,” said Vice Chair for Finance Phil Danaher. 

“This project aims at improving the quality of the Hudson River, and improving a tremendous environmental, recreational and cultural resource for our region,” added Legislator Leon Fiacco, chair of the legislative Environment Committee.

Once completed, the Rensselaer County Sewer District would be the first county to complete the CSO LTCP in the Albany Pool. All projects in the CSO LTCP in Rensselaer County have been completed on time and with no penalties or fines for non-compliance. 

The RCSD has helped attract new jobs and investment in the county, helping Regeneron add almost 300 jobs a few years ago thanks to extension of sewer service. Other projects have been aided via extension of sewer service. 

“This work has ensured our compliance with this state consent order and mandate. It has also helped improve the overall efficiency and performance of the county Sewer District, which will continue to help us attract new jobs and investment,” said Majority Leader Ken Herrington. 

The projects have included establishment of a new UV disinfection process at the RCSD, improvement of four RCSD pump stations, including two in Troy and two in Rensselaer, and a sludge degritting project. The degritting project is scheduled for consideration at the March 16 meeting.  

“Improvement of the pump stations will also help safeguard quality in neighborhoods, including Wynantskill. We now have more efficient and cleaner pump stations, which is good news for our county and our residents,” said Legislator Kelly Hoffman. 

To date, the RCSD has spent approximately $21 million on the state-mandated projects. The $3 million slated for consideration by legislators on March 16 would bring the total to $24 million. The RCSD was awarded a $2.1 million state grant to help with the work on the Troy pump stations. 

Legislators credited Harry Tutunjian with helping shepherd and coordinate the CSO LTCP, along with RCSD leaders and employees.