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Marcellus awarded $600,000 state grant for sewer consolidation

Marcellus Mayor John Curtin (left) and wastewater plant operator Ryan Riefler stand outside the village’s wastewater treatment and composting facility. The village was recently awarded $600,000 in state grant funds to be put toward centralizing maintenance of the sewer system.

Marcellus Mayor John Curtin (left) and wastewater plant operator Ryan Riefler stand outside the village’s wastewater treatment and composting facility. The village was recently awarded $600,000 in state grant funds to be put toward centralizing maintenance of the sewer system. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— The village of Marcellus has been awarded a $600,000 Local Government Efficiency grant from New York State. The funds are among $4 million in grants that will help 21 municipalities find new ways to reduce local government costs and save taxpayer dollars through consolidation and reorganization.

"In today's economic climate, government must learn to be more efficient and find innovative ways to reduce costs to taxpayers," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release. "Our state cannot afford to place additional burdens on small businesses and working families, and these grants are designed to help local governments reorganize and cut costs, so taxpayers can be protected and municipalities can better serve their residents."

Marcellus will use the funds to consolidate the wastewater services of the town, village and school district.

“The village sewage collection and treatment system is one of its most valuable assets and this grant will enable us to identify and prioritize structural deficiencies in the system and to implement a centralized maintenance program for the benefit of all residents of the village, town and school district who are sewer users,” said Mayor John Curtin. “This is an excellent example of how New York State has responded to the needs and a very real concern of a small municipality. The Marcellus community is most grateful.”

The village built a composting facility at the wastewater plant last spring in order to cut costs associated with shipping village sludge — the bio-solids left over after wastewater is treated — to a landfill in Seneca Meadows. When it comes to sewage collection and treatment, the village now has full control over rates, services, development and experimentation, Curtin said.

The mayor said the $600,000 grant will allow Marcellus to: reduce inflow and infiltration into its sewage collection system; identify and prioritize defects in the system, largely through an expanded televising procedure; make significant structural repairs to an aging system, some of which dates back to the 1930s; implement a centralized maintenance program that will benefit all sewer users, village, town and school; keep sewer service costs under control; bring about greater efficiency and operation; meet new and ever-changing DEC requirements and/or recommendations; attract new development to the community by having more sewer service available; and meet a major goal of County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s sustainability program, which is to maintain and improve infrastructure in those communities where it already exists.

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