The sewer committee met on 1/28 with Supervisor Connolly and Councilman Solberg. Most of the meeting was focused on a presentation from the project engineer Ed Hernandez to bring the new administration up to speed on the history, current status, and next steps for the project. The presentation has been posted on the sewer website for the public. Because there was a great deal of information shared during the discussion, we also posted extensive minutes for the public to review.
Regarding the website, quite a bit of new material has been posted. Unfortunately, there has been misinformation circulating about residents being misled about costs and connection policy and about lack of reliability of grinder pumps. We just added a link to a 10-year retroactive study of a 274-unit system, done by that town’s engineer with lots of hard data about their experience. We’re working to get honest factual information available for the public. The website is ballstonsewers.org and there is a direct link from the main Town of Ballston (TOB) website.
We have worked with the contractors and have received written price locks with the three largest contractors, locking up ~ 93% of the project costs through May 1. The other contractor had only given us a lock until Feb 1. We reached out to them last week and they have extended another 6 weeks.
The Town received notice about being awarded a $5 million Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant for the Ballston Lake Sewer project the week of December 16th. On January 3, 2020 we received a letter from the Director of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) indicating that the Office of the State Comptroller (OFC) would review the DEC’s paperwork and when OFC approved, DEC would provide additional information to the Town of Ballston to create the contract. At present we are still waiting for to hear from DEC.
The project budget status is also posted on the website. When the $5 million grant is added to the project, given the expenditures to date, contracts agreed to, and estimated future costs such as project management and legal, we have a $ 1.8 million contingency ( ~ 13%). The supervisor has conducted an independent 3rd party review and advises that given the stage of the project, he is comfortable with that contingency.
The contractors have us in their schedules for this Spring. Contacts at DEC have advised us that we should hear from them in early February. As soon as we hear from DEC the Town can accept the grant and initiate the process to add the new grant to the project, as was done with the earlier grant.