by Tom Walogorsky
One of those most pressing issues facing the Pawling today concerns the community’s wastewater treatment facility. The installation is in need of a complete overhaul to meet current operational standards. The efforts to achieve this need are being spearheaded by the Pawling Joint Sewer Commission (PJSC).
Located at 37 Corbin Road in the Village of Pawling, the wastewater treatment center has fallen into a state of obsolescence. It has not been upgraded in more than thirty years and was found to be deteriorating and in poor condition in a report by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The facility was recently cited for 22 violations, and the DEC has placed it under a consent order. This order allows the plant to remain open, under the condition that necessary improvements be completed.
With these issues in mind, the PJSC has set out to rectify the problem. Following a local income survey, the commission has secured 0% financing for the project. Engineers have been consulted, and blueprints for a new, fully compliant facility have been finalized. All of the necessary permits for construction have been approved, and officials describe the project as “shovel ready.”
All that remains is the issue of offsetting the $13,270,000 cost of the project. To this end, the PJSC has applied for a grant of $3.3 million from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to help underwrite the project. The EFC helps to provide funding for drinking and wastewater infrastructure throughout the state. The grant is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act, which has designated $2.5 billion for New York State water quality projects. If approved, this grant will help to keep quarterly sewer bills at a reasonable level. The PJSC expects to be informed of the grant’s approval status sometime in August.
Going forward, the commission would like to explore new avenues and expand the sewer system throughout the town and village of Pawling. As the area seeks to grow, the need for a new wastewater facility is even more imperative. A new plant would yield a greater processing capacity, and would thus be able to accommodate new sewer lines. “This sewer plant upgrade is a must for our community, both for clean water and for economic development. It will serve our community for the next forty to fifty years,” says PJSC Chairman Dan Peters.
Residents who want to learn more about the Commission and its work are encouraged to visit the PJSC page of the Village of Pawling website: VillageofPawling.org.