Some residents expressed an interest in finding out more about new technologies, asked about joining with other municipalities and even posed questions about what it would take to build a new plant to serve the town. Town officials said that cost would be much higher than the upgrades proposed for the plant.
As the town’s proposed budget for 2012 stands, sewer and water rates would increase next year. With additional costs for work at the treatment plant in mind, the town is in talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, regarding possible infrastructure projects, including at the plant.
Town Engineer Paul Penman said the town has a list of over 20 projects of varying size that could be presented to FEMA.
“We have a lot of projects because of [Tropical Storm] Irene,” said Penman. “Dependant on the projects, some of those are mitigation.”
As the town prepares its case for assistance from FEMA, officials intend to have a plan in place by the end of the year regarding the study of the wastewater treatment plant. A second public meeting will be held in Selkirk in November. Engineers will then present a plan to the Bethlehem Town Board in December. A report must also be presented to NYSERDA in order to secure the funding from the authority.