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A view of the Monticello Wastewater Plant, which will be rehabilitated under grants and loans the village will receive through stimulus funds.

Monticello in line for $11M to rehab its water system

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — February 5, 2010 — Add $11 million to the $10 million Monticello has already scored for infrastructure projects.
This week, Village Manager Ray Nargizian and representatives of the village’s consulting firm, Barton and Loguidice, announced that Monticello is on track to receive $11.2 million from the U.S Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to rehab its century-old water system.
In 2009, Monticello gained approval for $10 million in USDA funding to upgrade its sewer system, including the aging wastewater treatment plant.
The $10 million sewer package split the funding between a $5.6 million grant and a $4.3 million low-interest loan (plus $15,000 in village funds). Another $5 million in USDA funding has been tentatively promised, as well.
This latest $11 million water package – which comes out of the federal stimulus funds – only features a $665,000 grant, and the village must supply $152,000 of its own money.
But the remaining $10.3 million is in the form of a loan featuring an interest rate (2.375 percent) that is lower than the already low rate for the loan for the sewer project (2.625 percent).
Between the two projects, the debt will cost the 1,900 village water and sewer users about $13.40 per month for the next 38 years (the repayment term of the loans).
Nargizian is hopeful the village will be able to refinance such a huge amount of federal loan funding, potentially getting the interest rate down to zero percent. Plus, he told village board members Monday that costs will surely be smaller when the village realizes less overtime expenses due to fewer callouts of personnel to malfunctioning equipment.
And there’s plenty of equipment being replaced or otherwise upgraded, from pump stations to emergency generators, miles of new pipes to new fencing, even a replacement of 191 fire hydrants. Not all streets will be ripped up (the funds only go so far), but those that are dug into will be repaved thanks to this funding, said officials.
Old issues like discolored drinking water and rainwater infiltration into the sewer system – which ends up being unnecessarily treated as wastewater – will be resolved. New technologies are planned to be introduced as well. Project Manager and Lead Engineer Tim Wales of Barton and Loguidice said reed beds will be employed to filter sludge, and heat generated from treated effluent will be used to warm the sewer plant.
A conference with USDA Rural Development officials in Middletown yesterday cleared the way for the village to begin environmental studies and submit a full application on the water system upgrade.
In the meantime, the $10 million sewer rehab is moving ahead, said Wales and B&L’s main liaison with the village, Glenn Gidaly. They explained that the project should go out to bid in October, with work slated to begin in 2011.
If approved, the water system rehab will begin in late 2011. Both efforts should be finished within two years thereafter, said Gidaly.
A $300,000+ sidewalk project is also under way along Route 42 between Broadway and the Monticello High School, completely covered by federal funds.
Barton and Loguidice, which is receiving approximately $50,000 from the village to plan the water and sewer upgrades, was praised for its staff’s dedication to seeking out these funds, as was Nargizian, who successfully pressed the USDA for more funding than it originally had in mind.
In fact, Nargizian even convinced the Monticello Casino and Raceway to front the $50,000 for Barton and Loguidice’s services, “so it didn’t cost residents one nickel,” he pointed out.
Plus, new pipes will be laid to two new village wells, which Nargizian said will provide a surplus of water to encourage new development.

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