Masullo residents vote against sewer line

Residents of Masullo Estates voted against a proposed sewer line extension to their 88-home neighborhood in a referendum vote Tuesday, June 10, at Town Hall.

Homeowners voted 86-to-18, defeating a proposal to bond for the extension of a dry sewer line while the town conducts a major drainage and road reconstruction project.

Now, Rotterdam Supervisor Steve Tommasone said the town will move quickly to help resolve the neighborhood's problems with poor drainage and deteriorating roadways.

Tommasone said he's hopeful work by the town's highway department could begin this year, but he realizes that if the project goes out to bid, construction might not begin until next year.

The proposed sewer line extension would have cost each household about $610.40 over 15 years for debt service, operation and maintenance.

But for some residents, especially those on East Lucille Lane who would have been unable to hook into the gravity sewer line, the cost would have been much more.

Those affected residents called the cost of the project prohibitive because they would also have to install grinder pumps, which could cost several thousand dollars.

The extension proposed disproportionately burdens some homeowners, said Michael O'Conner of East Lucille Lane at an April town board meeting.

Other East Lucille residents agreed with O'Connor. Joe Angerami voted against the proposal because he said the costs were prohibitive.

"Some people would have to crush their septic systems and put in grinder pumps," said Angerami. "The total cost is quite a few bucks."

If the sewer extension had passed, the town planned to hook the line into a main extended to the town-approved, 261-home Helderberg Meadows development.

A public hearing is set for Wednesday, June 25, in town hall regarding an extension of Sewer District 2 to Helderberg Meadows.

The Town Board will also consider a resolution to hire attorney William Ryan of the Albany firm Tabner, Ryan and Keniry to prepare the appropriate documentation for the project for no more than $3,000. Ryan was retained as counsel by the town on the Masullo Estates proposed sewer line.

Tommasone said that hiring an outside attorney is a way to ensure politics does not play into the proposal. Tommasone also said that Ryan has expertise in the area of sewer line extensions.

According to Tommasone, the defeated Masullo Estates extension would not deter the Helderberg Meadows project, although, he said, it may cost residents more in debt service.

"That project will move ahead irrespective of the project in Masullo Estates," said Tommasone.


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