April 17, 2014

Essex to upgrade wastewater treatment plant

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Williston to help with costs

July 22, 2010

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

The Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Village of Essex Junction, which serves Williston, will soon need costly upgrades, town officials say.

Costs will likely be transferred to users.

Town Manager Rick McGuire informed the Selectboard of the necessary work on Monday night.

“The Village is in the process of studying portions of the plant (that) are in need of major repairs and upgrades,” McGuire wrote in a manager’s report for the Selectboard.

Built in 1964, the plant went through a major upgrade in 1984. Those repairs had a design life of 25 to 30 years.

McGuire praised the maintenance work of employees at the plant, and described the upgrades as ones becoming necessary at the tail end of the lifespan of the 1984 work.

“What’s really happening, it’s just wearing out,” McGuire told the Observer. “The Essex Junction staff has done an excellent job maintaining that facility. I think we’re facing far less cost than if it was not properly maintained.”

Total cost of the work has yet to be determined, but McGuire said the bill will be millions of dollars. He expects Williston will have to contribute about 30 percent of the cost, a figure that corresponds with the town’s use of the plant.

Because the Village of Essex owns the plant, McGuire expects that town to be responsible for borrowing any money to pay for the work.

“As they contributed to the plant, they would pass the extra cost to us,” McGuire told the Observer.

Selectboard member Judy Sassorossi asked during Monday’s meeting if any grants would be available to help pay for the work.

McGuire responded that Essex is looking into grant opportunities. He said he would inform the board as more information became available.

BOARD SETS WATER, SEWER RATES

The Selectboard approved increases to the water and sewer rates on Monday night.

The rates, proposed by Public Works Director Bruce Hoar, are based on water and sewer budgets approved in January.

The water use rate was set at $2.75 per 1,000 gallons for fiscal year 2011. The sewer use rate is $3.86 per 1,000 gallons. Both rates take effect with the second quarter billing for August 2010.

Town Manager Rick McGuire said the rates will cost a family of four an additional $60 per year.

— Greg Duggan, Observer staff

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