The town can continue realizing the improvements every year.
Sayward was also recognized at a Town Board meeting on Wednesday, March 24.
"Richard Sayward is the type of employee and leader that every supervisor wants to be part of his team," Supervisor Sam Messina later said.
In 2008, the New Salem Water Treatment Plant was in the news due to mercury leaks from water meters there. The town was eventually fined by the Department of Environmental Conservation and had to replace the outdated meters.
Sayward said the new equipment has not only eliminated the possibility of another mercury mishap, but makes day-to-day operations much smoother.
"We got a clean bill of health from DEC, everything's been cleaned up," he said. "We should never have to go there ever again We have made some significant improvements."
The next big development for the water department will be the construction of a new facility to replace the aging New Scotland Water Treatment Plant. Planning started in 2005, and officials hope that the project can shift into gear this year.
"We're still looking at some different alternatives and we're working with consultants to pin down a solution that will work for our community in the long run," Deyoe said.
But having a new facility on the horizon makes working with aging equipment all the more frustrating, especially when it breaks, as the town discovered in September of last year when damage was found in the New Saelm Plant's backwash lines and clarifiers. Repairs were priced at over $100,000.
"That's the most difficult part to do, is spend that good money on something that should have been replaced a while ago," Sayward said.
Sayward is an avid outdoorsman who also plays golf. He's enjoyed 28 years of marriage and recently attended his son's wedding.