As you may be aware, for the last several years Oneida County has been completing sewer rehabilitation projects throughout the Oneida County Sewer District to comply with a Consent Order from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
The problem is that many of the local municipal sanitary sewer lines have become so old and deteriorated that groundwater or surface water is entering the system through breaks and cracks in pipes during heavy rains and contributing to overflows of sewage into the Mohawk River.
Thanks to significant investments by the County, condition assessments have been performed on the sewer system and a number of repair and improvement projects have been completed to help correct this sewage overflow problem.
However, much more is needed to avoid costly emergency repairs, steep fines, and polluting the Mohawk River. For the Village of Yorkville, our sanitary sewer system has reached a critical point.
With portions of the Village being located in some of the lowest elevations of the Sauquoit Creek basin, combined with the poor physical condition of our municipal sanitary sewer system, some residents and businesses have experienced sewage backups into basements or overflows onto the street from manholes.
With assistance from Oneida County and the Oneida County Sewer District, the Village has implemented a project that will repair and restore our failing sanitary sewers. If we don’t repair our sewers now, we will continue to experience pipe failures and collapses that lead to backups and overflows.
While there is no doubt that this work has to be done, we do recognize that this comes with challenging cost implications. Please know that we have been, and will continue to find every way we can to minimize the burden on you.
The Village obtained funding through the following sources that reduce the impact of the project by about 25%:
• The Village was awarded a $1.05 million Clean Water Infrastructure Grant for this project through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC).
• 0% financing was provided by NYSEFC for the remaining project cost.
Securing the grant and no-interest loan enables us to offset the increase to Village ratepayers by just over $100 per home annually, reducing the estimated sewer rate increase from $239 (cost of project before grant and no-interest loan) to $137 for the average family.
The actual cost to residents will be based on water consumption and is in addition to current sewer charges already being paid. Rather than include the cost on annual property tax bills, the amount per household will be charged through the Mohawk Valley Water Authority quarterly billing and spread out over the year.
This work will improve the Village's sewer system’s long-term sustainability, enhance critical public infrastructure, prevent sewage backups, and ultimately contribute toward eliminating sewage overflows into the Mohawk River.
I’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
This project is not cheap – but I can promise you that this is the right thing to do and the only way forward for our aging sewer infrastructure.
Thank you for your understanding.
Michael A. Mahoney
Village of Yorkville