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Woodridge Bites
$8 Million Bullet

By Dan Hust
WOODRIDGE — February 28, 2006 – Decision day arrived in Woodridge last week.
On Tuesday, February 21, the village board agreed unanimously to bond $7,996,300 to build a new sewer plant.
It was a move forced upon the board thanks to a consent order signed with the state Department of Environmental Conservation early last year.
Years of neglect by prior village administrations and continually troublesome effluent issues with Newburgh Egg brought the Avon Lodge Road sewer plant to this point, according to village officials. (A pump station on Greenfield Road will also have to be replaced.)
The DEC saw the problems and demanded the plant be refurbished or replaced.
A refurbishment cost that was higher than the expense of building a new plant sealed the deal.
So on Tuesday, after consulting with village-hired Clough-Harbour Associates engineers, the board voted 5-0 to bite that $8 million bullet.
Village officials said they are applying for a loan from the state, which had an application deadline of March 1 – thus the need for Tuesday’s decision.
They’re angling for a zero percent hardship loan, or at least a two percent loan, but won’t know if they’ll get either for some time.
In the meantime, they’re projecting a $272 annual increase per unit in the sewer capital charge. That figure could change, depending on what kind of financing is secured.
There is a potential bright spot – or more difficulties, depending upon one’s viewpoint.
Representatives from Camp Skwere attended the village board meeting with their engineer, Ralph Lane, who said the camp wants to hook into the sewage system.
But its 100,000 gallons of sewage a year would make it the second-largest contributor to the village’s already stressed system.
In recognition of that fact, the camp’s owners said they would donate $700,000 to the village for the new plant, along with the usual hookup fees. And they would bear the cost of removing inflow/infiltration from their location on Highland and Maple avenues.
Such a deal would be sealed contractually, they explained, but the village board decided to wait on making a decision.
In the meantime, the board agreed to send a letter to Camp Morris – the village sewer system’s largest user – informing them that they would not be allowed to open for the coming season if the inflow from their sewer line is not immediately fixed to the village’s satisfaction.

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