The City Council rejected a $74 million capital request to renovate the wastewater treatment center in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Shortly before 12:30 a.m. the request from Mayor Linda Tyer to borrow for upgrades to the plant fell one vote short of the supermajority needed. Councilors Christopher Connell, Melissa Mazzeo, Kevin Morandi, and Donna Todd Rivers all voted down the project.
The administration is seeking authority to borrow the $74 million in an effort to comply with an EPA administrative order, which calls for significantly decreasing the amount of phosphorus, and aluminum treatment, released into the Housatonic River. The plan developed in consultation with Klienfelder also calls for a nitrogen optimization process.
The City Council doesn't want to rush into making a $74 million decision.
Mayor Linda Tyer had put forth a petition calling for the borrowing of $74 million for a massive project with the wastewater system. The city is under an administrative order from the Environmental Protection Agency holding the system to higher standards of phosphorus, aluminum treatment, and nitrogen removal. The project has been in design for about a year, coming after years of ultimately losing appeals in federal cou
The mayor is asking for the authority to borrow $74 million for a major upgrade of the city's wastewater treatment center.
The expense has been a long time coming, starting with the city seeking to renew its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit in 2005. The Environmental Protection Agency oversees those permits in an effort to keep waterways clean and had issued a permit in 2008 requiring significantly higher standards of phosphorus, aluminum treatment, and nitrogen removal.
The town is looking for ways to cut its sludge budget because of rising removal costs.
The solids are leftover from the processing at the waste-water treatment plant.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco told the Selectmen on Wednesday that the town's sludge hauler has increased costs by 20 percent.
The town is looking to enter into a public-private partnership agreement to operate the wastewater treatment plant.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco told the Selectmen at its Wednesday workshop meeting that by October he would like to send out an request for proposals soliciting bids from private companies interested in running the plant.
The city is looking to spend $1.6 million to comply with federal regulations for the wastewater treatment plant.
The City Council's Finance Subcommittee on Thursday voted to recommend the expenditure to the full council, starting the process. The city is under an administrative order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce phosphorus and aluminum in the treated wastewater.
The Finance Committee accepted the fiscal 2017 budget of $14,567,135 and approved reserve fund transfers last week, but demanded better communication from the administration.
The committee approved a reserve fund transfer request of $63,000 for repairs and state Department of Environmental Protection-mandated updates to the wastewater treatment plant last Thursday but felt blindsided by some of the costs.
The Selectmen on Wednesday approved $63,000 in reserve fund transfers to make repairs and state-mandated updates to the wastewater treatment plant.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said the funds would fix neglected maintenance projects and leaks at the plant as well as get the its second clarifier up and running.
The Selectmen approved a fiscal 2017 budget of $14,567,135 that includes state-mandated tweaks to the wastewater treatment plant.
After the joint Selectmen and Finance Committee budget sessions last week, the Selectmen voted Wednesday to accept the budget with the addition of a $63,950 state Department of Environmental Protection-mandated position at the wastewater treatment plant.