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The Times
  • Construction of composting facility put on hold

  • The planned construction of a composting facility at the Dolgeville Wastewater Treatment Plant has been put on hold.

    That is according to plant operator Ed Scharpou after a review of the estimated construction costs provided by Chet Szymanski of C.T. Male Associates.

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  • The planned construction of a composting facility at the Dolgeville Wastewater Treatment Plant has been put on hold.
    That is according to plant operator Ed Scharpou after a review of the estimated construction costs provided by Chet Szymanski of C.T. Male Associates.
    “The numbers are way high,” Scharpou said during Monday evening’s meeting of the village board of trustees. “Until the construction costs have been pared down and there is a guarantee of a 10-year return on the investment, I would recommend holding off on building the facility. As it is now, it’s too costly of a project to move forward with.”
    The composting facility was originally part of the village’s ongoing inflow and infiltration project, which will be paid for with a 30-year $2 million zero percent interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund and $450,000 in principal forgiveness from the Environmental Facilities Corporation.
    Scharpou had estimated it would cost $750,000 to construct the composting facility.
    Szymanski’s initial projections put the cost at $900,000.
    “The numbers are a little scary, but they’re just a starting point. If we can get the construction costs down it will be a good project for the village,” said Szymanski.
    “The numbers are a lot scary, but the village has the ability to tweak the numbers,” said Trustee Larry Brandow. “The project hasn’t been completely ruled out yet.”
    Reviewing the inflow and infiltration project with the board, Scharpou said the composting and digester gas projects would be eligible for a $450,000 recycling grant.
    “That grant money is still available, so it remains an option,” he said.
    Scharpou added he estimated the payment on the $2 million loan would be $36,666 a year, which would be paid for from the savings realized from being able to burn methane gas to heat the wastewater treatment plant’s digester tank and the ability to sell compost.
    With the village paying an average of $21,000 a year to transport and dispose of sludge, he said about $16,000 per year could be saved by making compost at the plant.
    “There is the potential to bring in revenue by marketing the compost, but I don’t know if it will be enough to offset the higher project cost,” said Scharpou. “We have to continue to crunch the numbers and look for ways the village can save on construction.”
    “The construction of the building would be subject to public bid, so it is possible the bid can come in lower than the estimate,” said Szymanski. “There also is the potential to scale some items back, as the estimate is admittedly on the conservative side.”
    The estimate provided by Szymanski and C.T. Male Associates projected the village would not receive a return on its investment until 20 years.
    Page 2 of 2 - “That is just too long to wait to see a return,” said Scharpou. “It just doesn’t make to move forward with the project that takes more than 10 years to see a return.”
    In other business Monday evening, police Chief Richard Congdon reminded village residents they are not allowed to set up basketball hoops in the roadway or to set up basketball hoops so that the hoop hangs over the curb and into the roadway.
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