Amenia’s wastewater initiative eyes next step to define district

AMENIA —  Intent upon finding a way forward to define a wastewater district for the town, the Amenia Wastewater Committee voted at its meeting on Thursday, June 1, to request funding from the Amenia Town Board to facilitate the next step in the process.

Wastewater committee Chairman Charles Miller reviewed the process. The next step is the preparation of a map, plan and report by Laberge Group, an engineering firm, working with attorney TRK (Tabner, Ryan and Keniry). The engineering report is expected to build upon the feasibility study completed by Tighe and Bond in 2022. The estimated cost for the Laberge Group study is $27,500 and $18,000 for the attorney, for a total of $45,500.

As the wastewater committee already has $20,000 in its budget for the purpose, Miller said that $25,500 is the amount needed to proceed. A planning grant has been awarded to the town in the amount of $14,080, leading to discussion about whether to await receipt of the grant or ask the town board to find the funding needed.

Discussion also touched upon expanding the district to include Railroad Street and Lake Amenia Road, leading to a decision to poll businesses and residents in those areas to determine their potential interest in being included. The committee recognized that any expansion would likely result in an adjustment to the engineering study estimates.

Aware that federal infrastructure grant funding may deplete over time, the wastewater committee voted unanimously to ask the town board to find funding within the town budget to move ahead with the map, plan and report contracts.

The committee also voted to recommend to the town board that the district be created by petition rather than a townwide referendum.

“We’ve been trying since the 1950s to create the district,” said committee member Paul Winters.

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