The Marcellus Village Board approved two bond resolutions, one for $466,250 and another for $85,000, at its meeting held Jan. 24 to finance the overhaul of the village's wastewater treatment plant, located on North Street. The village intends to build a composting facility that will allow wastewater sludge to be turned into Class A compost.
Due to the large sum of money involved, the bond resolutions can be forced to a referendum vote by a petition of residents. The project is estimated at $700,000, half of which would be covered by a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation waste reduction/recycling grant. The village board also authorized mayor John Curtin to sign the application for the grant.
"It is a costly investment, but down the road it certainly is going to save taxpayers money, and help save the environment," Curtin said.
Village of Marcellus operators Greg Crysler and Ryan Riefler initiated plans for the project due to concerns over the future of the wastewater treatment plant, as options for dumping sludge are running out. The village currently has its sludge hauled to Seneca Meadows Landfill.
"I live 30 miles away from Seneca Meadows Landfill and it is now affecting the horizon," said Jim Bower, New York Rural trainer/technician, during a Marcellus Village Board workshop meeting in November.
Crysler and Riefler completed a feasibility study that showed the projected cost of hauling sludge to Seneca Meadows to be $33,350 assuming no increase in cost. Composting was projected at $5,600 a year, making for a savings of $27,750 annually. The study said it would take the village 12.5 years to break even on the project - at that time significant savings would start to kick in.
Curtin credited Crysler and Reifler for taking the initiative on this "green" project.
"They came to the board with this plan, thoroughly examined it, and it's remarkable that two young guys like this can have such an interest in their job," he said.