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Carthage-West Carthage seeking funding to upgrade sewage plant

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CARTHAGE — Representatives of GHD Consulting Engineers LLC, Cazenovia, on Wednesday clarified steps taken to obtain funding for an extensive upgrade to the aging wastewater treatment plant for Carthage and West Carthage officials.

The Carthage/West Carthage Water Pollution Control Facilities Management Board hired GHD in March to conduct a grant-funded study of improvements to the plant. The upgrade to the water pollution control facility essentially would rebuild the plant.

Board Chairman Michael F. Astafan said recent documents showed an increase in the cost of the project from $6.5 million to $8.5 million.

Michael E. Tamblin of GHD explained the higher cost was used in forms submitted to obtain a hardship grant because of the unavailability of some machinery parts.

Since certain machines may not be able to be repaired, they may have to be replaced.

“Other lower cost options may be available,” GHD project manager Charles A. Prior said.

The firm is tying up loose ends to meet the Feb. 3 finance application deadline to qualify for grants through the state Environmental Facilities Corp.’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The board’s attorney, Mark G. Gebo, also is ironing out language in the intermunicipal agreements between the two villages and agreements with the facility’s major industrial user, Carthage Specialty Paperboard, formally Climax Manufacturing.

Carrie M. Tuttle, director of engineering for the Development Authority of the North Country, which oversees the treatment plant, noted the agreements did not match.

“Supplemental agreements don’t match and don’t necessarily supersede each other. ... Mark is working on a new agreement to clean up all other language. Mark has a good template to work with,” she said.

Another hurdle for applying for the funding is to clarify the name change for the paperboard plant. Fred Goutremout of Carthage Specialty Paperboard assured the board “the ownership, the tax ID are all the same — it’s just a name change.”

The board set a special meeting fort 4 p.m. Jan. 8 to help facilitate the issues with bonding and to give the board time to meet again if necessary before the application deadline. The meeting will be held at the Carthage boardroom, 120 S. Mechanic St.

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