A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. to celebrate the completion of the decommissioning of the sewage sludge incinerator at the Little Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Previously, sludge was mechanically dewatered and incinerated on site, a process that used a high volume of oil and electricity. Ash from the incinerator was disposed of at the Oneida – Herkimer Solid Waste Authority’s regional landfill.
Regulatory issues led city officials to explore several alternatives on how to process and dispose of the sludge and they found revamping the plant would cost the city close to $1 million. Mayor Robert Peters credited Sam Ostasz, wastewater treatment plant operator, and Board of Public Works consultant Jim Palmer with finding a Pennsylvania company that takes the material, squeezes it down, puts it into a container, mixes it with chemicals and puts the material to use. The project, which included the addition of a sludge loading bay and a retrofitting of the plant’s conveyor system, cost the city $98,536.
“Now that it is complete, this project will provide considerable savings to the city,” Peters said during a telephone interview last week. “The previous process of dewatering and incinerating the sludge was costly. The new system eliminates the need for that.”
Monday’s ceremony will take place at the wastewater treatment plant on River Road.
A second ribbon cutting ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, May 10, at 5 p.m. to mark the completion of the $1.4 million South Ann Street bridge replacement project.
The city-owned bridge, which spans the Mohawk River and is the primary vehicle and pedestrian route from downtown to Loomis and Moss Islands, opened in January.
Work on the 20-ton bridge designed by Albany-based WSP SELLS and constructed by Glenmont-based New Century Construction began in August 2012. It uses a four-beam design, compared to the outdated two-girder design of the old bridge.
The new South Ann Street bridge also provides additional four-and-a-half feet of clearance to prevent rising water from damaging the bridge and the utility lines it carries.
“The project is not truly complete yet as there is still some paving that needs to take place on Canal Place, but the bridge is open and is being utilized by residents and visitors,” said Peters during the telephone interview. “Hopefully, the paving will be finished by May 10, but if it isn’t, the ceremony will still go on as scheduled.”
He added the city is excited to see both projects completed.
“That’s what the ceremonies are about. A lot of work was put into these projects and the ribbon cuttings are about showcasing the improvements we made,” said Peters.