October 20, 2011

6:00 pm


The Town Board met this date as per Resolution #124 with the following members present:  Supervisor Stanley, Councilman Bartlett, Bernstein, Jordan, and Malloy.


Supervisor Called meeting to order


Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag


Roll Call



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Shandaken Town Board will hold a Special Town Board Meeting on Thursday October 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm.  The Purpose of this meeting is strictly for a presentation by the CWC (Catskill Watershed Corporation) on options for the sewerage in the Hamlet of Phoenicia. This meeting will be held at the Town Hall, 7209 Route 28, Shandaken, New York.


Dated:    October 13, 2011                                 BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

Laurilyn J. Frasier, RMC/MMC


Supervisor Stanley stated that we all know why we are here tonight, Lamont Engineers and CWC will give us a presentation on the best possible sewer system for the amount of the block grant that is left.


Supervisor the introduced Alan Rosa, president of the CWC (Catskill Watershed Corporation)


Opening Statement – Alan Rosa

We were here about a year ago and at that time there was a lot of misinformation about the sewer system I told you at that time we would do our best to try to come up with an option within the block grant that was remaining, to date 1.3 million dollars has been spent out of the original grant that was 17 million 200 thousand.  So, we are already one million dollars in the whole to try to come up with an option that could be suitable for the hamlet of Phoenicia.  The other thing that I promised at that meeting is that I would not recommend a wastewater facility if it did not include laterals.  So this option does include laterals.  This is how we operate and this is how we have done all of our projects is that the laterals have to be inclusive.  This is not a perfect scenario, we feel that we have done our best and it does give you some options, at the end of the presentation we will be making some recommendations.  Those recommendations may not be likeable to some of the regulators, the options that we are going to suggest are this boards’ decision it is not a decision by a regulator.  Julie will get into detail on this, but we are going to ask the board that they revisit the sewer use law.  CWC has two things that we are trying to manage here, we are trying to give you an option for a waste water treatment facility and we are also very concerned about the businesses in the hamlet of Phoenicia.  If you cannot build a system that is affordable to the businesses, I don’t believe that is a win.  To be a hamlet you have to have businesses and people, they have to go hand in hand.  When we get into the presentation we are going to ask that you give a variance to a business that has a suitable treatment system and you do not ask for additional hookup fees in the future.    This way you give them an option to fix their system or hookup to the town’s if their system fails.


Introduction of Lamont and Team Members – Nate Hendricks of CWC

As Alan has stated we have been working quite diligently over the past year very closely with Lamont Engineers analyzing all of the potential options that could provide a wastewater treatment solutions for the Hamlet, decentralized and centralized knowing that with our contract we can only recommend a project that will fit into the remaining 15.8 million dollars.  I have been busy coordinating meetings with CWC, Lamont and the Town with Supervisor Stanley and Councilman Bernstein and also meetings with NYC DEP (New York City Department of Environmental Protection).   As we have progressed with the design review phase, we have tried to keep the town informed of our decisions and finalizing our decision tonight and with DEP so that they also know.  We will make one recommendation tonight, but there will be a lot of material and options that the Town Board will have to review before they make their final

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decision and move forward.    He then acknowledges Henry Lamont who is the Engineer in Charge and the main principal with Lamont and the bulk of the presentation tonight will be done by Julie Barown who is a Professional Engineer and is this project engineer.    We do ask that you wait to ask questions until after the presentation.


Julie Barown, PE – Project Engineer


First I would like to review all of the previously reported information from October 4, 2010, March 7, 2011, May 2, 2011 and July 11, 2011.  We reviewed the original sewer proposed sewer district which was comprised of properties with significant limitations to construction and maintaining functional on-site septic systems.  Due to lot size, soil types, steep slopes and proximity to water bodies, only 51 of the 345 total properties (15%) could maintain an individual on-site septic system with required 100% leach field reserve area available.  Therefore a septic maintenance district is not recommended, and a community system must be pursued.   We looked at multiple different options before even getting to where we are today.  We looked at  the septic maintenance district which was eliminated based on the percentage I just gave you.  Which is where the lots would have their own onsite system, we felt that was not a good fit for the Hamlet of Phoenicia, we also looked at a Community wastewater facility, where it would be similar to the system on your property but it would be for either the whole community or segments of the community, we also looked at different sub surface systems and we did not find any sites in or near Phoenicia that would be capable of taking the flow from Phoenicia.  We came up with a flow estimate for the original proposed sewer district.  That flow estimate was based on NYS DEC sewage estimating standards as it has been done in all of the communities.

Then we looked at different wastewater treatment types for that original proposed sewer district.

We looked at rebidding out the existing design that was done by Delaware Engineering, completed in 2006 and put out to bid in 2006, that was a Sequencing Batch Reactor (option #1), we also looked at a Membrane Bio Reactor (option #2) then we looked at a couple of packages, SetiTech and Orenco (options #3&#4) and also pumping to Pine Hill (option #6).   As we said prior none of these options come to within the $15.8 million remaining block grant.  Option #2 the MBR was $24.6 million.   Then we had to consider reducing the size of the project, so we looked at reducing the plant size and reducing the service area, and those are options #6, 7 &8, MBR, SeptiTech and Orenco again.   We were able to get the MBR (Option #6) within the $15.8 million.  Then we had some feedback from the Town Board saying that they felt that a project reducing the size of the plant size would not be a good idea, because if they ever wanted to extend the size of the collection area the plant would not be big enough.  Then we decided to look at building the plant for 162,000 gallons per day and then installing a collection system just large enough to fill out the $15.8 million.  Now, with discussions with the Town and DEP we came to an agreement that based on water records, the 162,000 gallons per day is calculated based on DEC sewer estimating standards and we know through experience that these estimates are typically high, we then looked at the treatment records and the water report just completed by MRB Group, the treated water is only about 100,000 gallons per day for the Phoenicia Water District which mirrors the original proposed sewer district.  We took the 100,000 per day we

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added 20% for infiltration and inflow, which is normal for collection systems added the 10% growth factor and we came up with $130,000 gallons per day as in option #11.  We think that it is a very comfortable number and what is not used to build the treatment plant will be used to install the collection system.


Julie then explained

Option 11 Cost Summary








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Option 11 Service Map, Anything in green is what would be installed now and the outer area is where the build out would be if you have money left in the block grant.



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Recommendation Summary

We are recommending Option #11 the MBR Waste water treatment Plant at 130,000 gallons per day with a reduced collection system with approximately 127 lateral connections which could be more than that if you have money left in the block grant.  We are also recommending that the Town revisit their Sewer Use Law to wave connection fees for any resident or commercial who feel that they cannot or do not want hook up at this time because they have a functional septic system.   But, if their system fails they have the sewer to fall back on.  We also recommend that the sewer district be formed by mandatory referendum which would be putting it out to a vote.

Then after the district is formed, completing the design, obtaining permits, remaining easements, property acquisition, updating SEQRA and then putting the project out for bid.


Julie then explained the Flow Schismatic









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Councilman Malloy wanted to know how the sewer plant and pipes would be affected by the flood.


Julie said that the plant location is down passed the Phoenicia Diner and my understanding from Supervisor Stanley is that the site did not flood in the last two floods which have been the worst.

There will be high flows during a flood, the pump stations and manholes will have flood tight covers on them, but flood waters will infiltrate from residents homes, and then the plant may have to bypass treatment.   Some pipes may break if the ground is eroded away and manholes may plug up, in that case they would have to be flushed out.


Councilman Malloy asked about Windam during the flood.


CWC President Alan Rosa said that they were not familiar with Windam but Prattsville was the most devastated Hamlet and the sewer plant was the only thing that was working, it did not flood.  Lamont can speak for that because they built that plant.


Henry Lamont added that the treatment plant was built above the 100 year flood plain and apparently that was enough since this was the worse flood ever in that area.  We had an operator there that was managing things, he restricted the flow into the plant, and as you know houses were picked up and destroyed by the flood which would leave an open lateral, the system took on a great amount of water.  The entire system has been inspected now.   During the flood there was erosion and a pump station was washed away and many laterals were damaged.  They had more damage to their potable water system, because that does not have to be buried so deep.   When there is a disaster as such, it is reported to the DEC and DEP right away and fines are not levied.  Fines are levied towards a repeated offender.   Prattsville are applying to FEMA for reconstruction of the parts that were damaged due to the flood.


Julie read a memo from DEP with regards to the plant issues from the storm Irene.  12 plants were damaged, two were owned by NYC, there was damage to the collection system, main trunk lines.   The other 10 were on hydraulic overload and went on bypass.  The flood happened on August 28th , on August 31st all of the plants except three were back on line processing sewage as per their SPEDIES permit and as of September 4th which was one week after, all of the plants were back on line processing as per their SPEDIES permits.  DEP was extremely pleased with the response from the communities.



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Councilman Jordan asked about the start up fees for the Residential and Commercial, is that based on every one participating?


Julie – yes


Councilman Jordan then will the cost would be higher for the ones that will be participating.


Julie – no – the  DEP subsidizes 91% and the remaining is the responsibility of the Town, the residents pay $100 per unit and the rest is bore by the commercials, my feeling is that if the commercials opt out the DEP will pick up more of the cost for the residents.


Nate Hendricks added that regarding the MBR technology the DEP amended their rules and regulations in June 2010.  The MBR is efficient treatment as a standalone in the watershed. Prior to that the MBRt had to be followed by sand filtration and micro filtration, now that is not necessary.   This is why we found it to be the most cost effective in this case.


Flow and Fees were discussed between Lamont and the Town Board

Councilman Bernstein asked if the residents and commercials that were not in the immediate service area could do if their septic fails and the sewer district cut them out.


Mr. Rosa said that they would be able to apply to the septic replace or repair program, they would not be left in limbo.  Also if it is less expensive to hook them to the sewer system then to build a septic, we will if the town will allow us to, hook them to the sewer.


Kathy Nolan – thanked them for the option for the commercials to opt out.   What happens if there are cost overruns?


Mr. Rosa answered we have told Lamont to go with the worst case scenario, so we know that we can build this project for 15.8 Million we are confident of that.  We have a 15% contingency.


Discussion with the public, CWC and Lamont on the Recommendation Summary, the discussion continued to cost paid by the town ($39,000) per year and why the City won’t pay for the entire plant operation, the answer is “because they don’t have too”.   The discussion continued on with the affects of the flood and the portal on Phoenicia, and we are a prime candidate for the City to pay the entire cost.   Supervisor Stanley added that the Portal (the tunnel system built by the City in the 1920’s to take water from the Gilboa Reservoir to the Ashokan Reservoir) is shut down during heavy rains.   “If it were open, they would have to pay dearly and it would not be heaven.”


There were many questions regarding the flood in Prattsville, and other towns where severe flooding was an issue and how the sewer plants survived.   Were the residents able to flush?

The answers remain the same, the plant was put on bypass and yes there was some contamination, but that is because the laterals were washed away and houses were washed off their foundations, the plant was back on line within 24 hours.  The houses that were not washed off their foundations could flush.


There were other questions about cost for the businesses and the residents, the residents will pay $100 per year and the businesses will pick up the balance as it is stated in the chart.


There were questions on the referendum and will the people be able to decide or not.  The answer is that yes, there will be a referendum and everyone will be notified with all of the information.


There was more discussion on the amount the City pays and the amount the Town or District will have to pay.   Lamont and CWC stated that this is the law it is not in a contract, the city will just have to review the budget to determine the 91% of the cost.    The CWC also stated that if the Town turns this down, the city will not care, they have control over the watershed with their land acquisition program and their reservoir systems.    It was the Ulster County Health Department that suggested that Phoenicia be a candidate for a sewer.



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Supervisor thanked everyone for being civil with each other, thanked Lamont and CWC for coming and explaining everything.


Motion by Supervisor Stanley to adjourn this special town board meeting, seconded by Councilman Bartlett, all in favor, motion carried.