Hinchey, Barrett visit Millbrook Village Water Department to present grants

From left: Village of Millbrook Trustee Vicky Contino, Village of Millbrook Mayor Tim Collopy, state Sen. Michelle Hinchey, VRI Environmental Services plant manager Scott Osborne, District 106 Assemblymember Didi Barrett, and Village of Millbrook Trustee Patrick Murphy hold giant facsimile checks in celebration of the $250,000 that Hinchey and Barrett secured for the rehabilitation of Millbrook’s wastewater pumping system.

Judith O’Hara Balfe

Hinchey, Barrett visit Millbrook Village Water Department to present grants

MILLBROOK — Millbrook Mayor Tim Collopy, along with Millbrook Village Board trustees Vicky Contino and Patrick Murphy, greeted state Sen. Michelle Hinchey and District 106 Assemblymember Didi Barrett at the Millbrook Village Water Department Thursday, March 7, to celebrate the $125,000 grants each has awarded to the Village.

The joint amount of $250,000 will go toward helping to replace the South Millbrook wastewater pump station; the present equipment at the pump station has reached the end of its useful life.

Pump stations are vital in averting sewage system backups, which can cause contamination that can lead to public health problems.

In hilly sites such as Millbrook and many other areas, stations need powerful pumping systems in order to elevate wastewater to higher levels, properly reaching the treatment centers for processing. Site modifications to position the pump above the existing floodplain are planned.

“Across New York State, the cost to replace and repair our aging water and wastewater infrastructure can be an astronomical burden for communities, and its incumbent upon our state to support municipalities like Millbrook in making these critical upgrades,” said Hinchey.

“Safe wastewater service for local homes and businesses translate to savings for residents,” Hinchey said.

Barrett, holding a large blue facsimile of a check, added that “water and sewer infrastructure is critical to addressing many of the priorities of our region, including housing, economic development and health and wellness.”

She, too, noted that replacing the pump station in Millbrook “will improve public health and save taxpayer dollars.”

Contino, who worked on obtaining the grants and has expertise on the state budget process, noted: “Pump station state and federal grant programs often aren’t suited to small locality needs no matter how urgent. So, though we explored applying for a state hazard mitigation grant, it wasn’t a fit for us.

“Thanks to the skilled advocacy of the VOM’s behalf, Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Barrett were able to direct the $125,000 each of state budget funds to our pump station a and generator project, enabling us to ensure uninterrupted, environmentally sound sewer service to south Millbrook.”

Collopy thanked Barrett and Hinchey for their work in securing the grant money. He noted that the money provided not only for the replacement of the 25-year-old pump, but also for the installation of a backup generator on-site to ensure its continuous operation, even during power outages.

“People usually don’t want to consider repairs to a sewer system (until it fails!), so I appreciate the foresight shown by the Senator and Assemblymember in coming to our aid for this key infrastructure investment. Thank you!”

VRI Environmental Services plant manager noted, “Replacing aging infrastructure in the Village of Millbrook Wastewater Treatment System has been part of our focus for many years.” He continued, “This new pump station will allow for more efficient operation and maintenance and serve the Village for several decades.”

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