By Kellen M. Quigley

More than three months after the initial malfunction at the Springville Wastewater Treatment Plant, the village board is moving ahead with plans to replace the cover of plant’s digester which blew up in February.

At the Board of Trustees May 20 meeting, the board rescinded a resolution approved at the May 6 meeting to re-bid for both a replacement membrane cover and a permanent steel cover. Initially, the village only did bids for the steel cover.

After rescinding the previous resolution, the village approved a contract with H&K Services $549,500 to install a permanent steel cover to the plant’s digester in place of the membrane cover.

“We’ve been talking about this for quite a few minutes,” said Mayor Bill Krebs. “The steel cover, which is more expensive than the replacement cover, should be our best option.”

The fixed stainless steel cover is the best replacement in value and effectiveness, providing for a longer lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

The village also considered installing a replacement membrane cover on the digester, which is expected to last 15 to 18 years.

“Even though it’s more expensive now, over the length of the life of the steel digester cover … it would be much cheaper to the village,” Krebs said.

According to Krebs, the cost of the steel cover would be offset with $350,000 from insurance, leaving about $200,000 for the village to cover, which would be paid for with a BAN borrowed in July 2018 for a North Central sewer project no longer in the works.

Board member Alan Chamberlain said when the malfunction damaged the previous membrane cover in February, he wondered whether the village should look at an alternative solution for the replacement.

“In my head, it didn’t seem like a viable solution for the long term,” Chamberlain said. “It seemed logical that should be the path we should travel instead of replacing something that’s life expectancy is so low.”

The board members also noted that the process to decide on which cover to go with didn’t initially go through the appropriate procedure.

Board member Elise Rose said she thought it would be best for the village to go with the steel cover as initially presented rather than rebid at an additional cost.

“Our job as trustees is to do what’s best for the village,” Krebs said. “The proposals for this did not come to us in a legitimate process. With the detailed information we have now, it’s much more clear that the steel cover is not only a better cover engineering-wise but even, in the long run, a more fiscally prudent cover to invest in.”

Because of how long the process to have the project begin would take, Krebs said it is originally expected to begin in December. However, if the village re-bid it, the project might not begin until February, a full year since the previous cover failed.


IN OTHER BUSINESS, Village Administrator Liz Melock said the new recycling totes/carts are expected to be delivered to village residents June 5 and 6 from Waste Management.

Melock said the bi-weekly recycling pickup would begin June 18. It was noted all material must be inside the totes.

“People do not have to be home,” she continued. “They will be logged in with their ID on our spreadsheet which we’ll also have, and they will be left in front at the curb.”

Village tax bills are expected to be mailed out May 31 and are due July 1 to avoid penalties. Melock said if a property owner doesn’t receive their tax bill within the first few days of June to call the village office.

Per a suggestion from DPW Superintendent Ken Kostowniak, the village will consider holding a public hearing to amend the section of the village code concerning trees to allow for “utility friendly trees per NYPA guidelines to be planted under wires.”

The amendment to the section, which currently prohibits planting trees in the subway between the sidewalk and the road, to allow for utility-wire friendly trees to be planted.

The village board first approved a resolution sending the proposed change to the village planning board for their input on the matter before the village holds a public hearing.

The public hearing on the change to allow some trees in the subway will be set for June 17 at the beginning of the next regular village board meeting.