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Joint sewer board to hold workshops to discuss capital project funding

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WEST CARTHAGE — Even as engineers have figured out what needs to be done, they are looking for ways to pay for joint sewer plant updates.

The Carthage/West Carthage Water Pollution Control Facilities Management Board hired GHD Consulting Engineers LLC, Cazenovia, last year to conduct a grant-funded study of plant improvements. The suggested $8.5 million upgrade essentially would rebuild the 40-year-old plant.

Now in phase two of the study, representatives of GHD suggested the joint board hold workshops to study options and develop contingency plans if funding is not available.

Board Chairman Michael F. Astafan said at a March 25 meeting that the workshops would be a good idea.

“We don’t have a good handle on what needs to be done, and we don’t have a good handle on the numbers,” Mr. Astafan said.

Michael E. Tamblin, of GHD, said the workshops will help “nail down the scope” of the project. Because of the age of the plant and changes in Environmental Protection Agency requirements, some of the objectives have changed.

Carrie M. Tuttle, director of engineering for the Development Authority of the North Country, which oversees the plant, said the capital project is in limbo regarding equipment repair or replacement.

“A lot of things are in really bad shape,” Ms. Tuttle said.

The board also is negotiating a deal with the two villages and the system’s major users, which include Carthage Specialty Paperboard, Metro Paper and Carthage Central School District.

Mr. Astafan asked the engineers to create a priority list of needed upgrades or renovations.

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