By Dan Hust
WOODRIDGE February 9, 2007 The Village of Woodridge may be the first spot in Sullivan County to showcase newly invented solar-powered streetlamps.
Village Clerk Diane Garritt said Sullivan Renaissance officials approached the village at last Saturday’s kickoff program to host 8 of the innovative lights.
The reason? According to Garritt, the village’s main street, Green Avenue, faces the sunny south, and Renaissance is eager to showcase the beauty and cost-effectiveness of solar power in the area.
“They would like to make Woodridge a test case,” Garritt told the village board Monday night. “They wanted to know if we’re interested.”
The village would have to install the bases and wire backup electrical circuits, but everything else would be paid for by a NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) grant that Renaissance officials are competing for.
The board instructed Garritt to tell Sullivan Renaissance they are indeed interested, and Renaissance Program Director Glenn Pontier was scheduled to visit the board this week to discuss the idea.
Village gets tough with Newburgh Egg
Newburgh Egg once again was a topic of discussion at Monday’s board meeting, with the board deciding to hold off on a proposed sewer use ordinance enactment until an agreement could be worked out with the egg processing company.
Village attorney Jeff Kaplan said Newburgh Egg had objected to the proposed penalties in the ordinance drafted by the engineering firm engaged in designing the village’s new, $8 million sewer plant.
Kaplan estimated that the village could receive more than $30,000 every quarter from Newburgh Egg under the proposed penalties, considering that last quarter the company dumped a daily average of 1,800 BODs (bio-chemical oxygen demand, a measurement of organic matter in sewage) into the sewer system. The ordinance proposes a cap of 200 BODs per day.
Newburgh Egg officials told the village such penalties and restrictions could put them out of business.
Newburgh Egg has long wrestled with the village over what it’s putting into the sewer, and village officials blame the company for flushing egg solids into the system, which eventually led to the demise of the current sewer plant.
The egg solids issue has since been mostly resolved, but the BODs are a continuing concern for both parties. Newburgh Egg officials have said they’re hoping to drastically lower that level soon.
“In the meantime, the BODs are up to 4,000,” said Mayor Ivan Katz.
Katz proposed sending board members down to Newburgh Egg to discuss the matter, but Councilman and former Mayor James Slater refused, saying the board has dealt with the company far too gently.
He instead proposed a June 30 deadline where Newburgh Egg would either comply with village laws (or a village-created contract with the company) or face stiff fines or even removal from the system.
He felt the plant would do what needs to be done.
“We won’t put them out of business,” he remarked with anger. “They’re putting the village out of business.”
In the end, the board authorized Kaplan to send a letter to Newburgh Egg demanding it agree to a contract or face the enactment of the ordinance.
Energy Audits on Tap
In other business, the board authorized up to $500 to be spent on energy audits of the village hall and garage. One set of audits will allow Woodridge to seek appropriate NYSERDA grants to upgrade items like heating, which is an ongoing issue at the drafty, window-filled hall.
The other audit will also focus on the hall but pay particular attention to solar energy needs and be in association with Global Resource Options.
As for the garage, village officials are also seeking to piggyback a new DPW building on the sewer plant project, as the new facility is being built next to the current garage a dirt-floor structure that officials say is growing insufficient.
Such a piggybacking arrangement whereby sewer plant equipment is proposed to be stored at the garage may allow the village to gain special funding for the entire project.
The board also approved the purchase of ID badges for all village employees.
Finally, the board voted 4-1 to authorize a settlement regarding the now-closed Oceanside Laundry Services’ unpaid water and sewer charges.
Whereas the village alleged it was owed $225,000 dating back to 2003, the board agreed to a payment of $195,000. Trustee Joan Collins was the sole dissenter.