Nisky faces penalties for sewers

"We are currently right now with a consent order of DEC where we're required to monitor all the volume coming into the waste water treatment plant every year," said Landry. "What we have done over time from 2003 to today is we have made improvements to the system."

Additional water travels to the wastewater treatment plant through leaks in pipes, which can be caused by tree roots growing into pipes, said Landry. The infrastructure of the town isn't "crumbling" though, according to Landry.

Councilman Jonathan McKinney said the DEC is recognizing a pattern of the town not investing in the infrastructure. He said the town needs to have a greater focus on things such as plowing, leaf pick-up, water and sewer, police and public safety.

"We are spending a lot of money on things that are very visible but the world changed," said McKinney. "With the great recession that we went through things aren't going to be the way they were and we need to focus our attention on the core functions of government."

During the board's recent budget vote McKinney contended the budget didn't address the problems the town is faced with in regards to the DEC correspondence.

The reason the budget didn't address any of the improvements, said Landry, was because the town couldn't be sure what the DEC is going to require. Although, he said there is budgeted money for various repairs.

"We don't know when we are going to be able to comply for what they are asking," said Landry. "We still are determining what we are going to be doing and how are we going to comply."

McKinney disagreed and said the town does have an idea of what repairs and improvements will need to be made.

"To say we don't know what the DEC wants, to not put it in the budget, is kind of disingenuous," said McKinney.

In late July the DEC also sent a letter to the town detailing a comprehensive inspection of the town's wastewater treatment plant and offered suggestions for improvements to be made, which James E. Malcolm, environmental engineer for the DEC, gave the town "an overall marginal rating" for the inspection.

"The DEC looked at our reports and doesn't think we are making as much progress as we should be making," said Landry about the recent correspondence.""

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