June 22, 2022
By Jasmine Willis
HORNELL – The Common Council had a public hearing to discuss all the work that needs to be done at the water and sewer plants on June 20. Hornell Department of Public Works had several officials talk about the various problems occurring at the plants. Hornell Mayor John Buckley talked about the importance of these projects and what this department does for the community. They discussed and approved entering phase one out of three on the project.
There is grant money available to enter phase one of the project that will fix outdated equipment and pumps.
This $4.5 million project will take the outdated plant and fix up all the pumps and systems at the sewer plant. The plant has original parts from 1968. It has been in need of new equipment that has been outdated and literally falling apart.
This project will upgrade the bio pumps, VFD system, pipes, sludge blanket, and more. The plant is having a hard time with grease and such from trucks and households. The old mix system hasn’t worked since 1997. The pumps are not producing what is needed properly since the 90s. Changing all this equipment will make the work more efficient and save tons on products. The plants have been in dire need of change in decades. It keeps being left behind on grants and budgeting.
The city council is confident that the work needed to be accomplished will have a lasting effect on the community. A couple grants were approved for this use at the regular meeting.
They will be changing wheelers, loaders, tractors, dump trucks and backhoes. Much of this equipment has been out of date since the early 2000s. The new equipment will last a lot longer. They can sell the broken down ones for parts.
Buckley said this has been a problem that has crept in over the years. These grants are meant to get what is needed now. Buckley mentioned how the police department and fire department just got new trucks. It is now time to focus on water and sewer. A lot of this hustle was prompted by a truck being so overused it literally fell apart dumping gravel.
It may still take some time to get all the new equipment since all over the country municipals are having a hard time. There is a slower wait on equipment due to the pandemic.
Buckley said this is the only municipal around that doesn’t give a water rate increase. He said the community has lucked out on water for many years. He added that the water and sewer are the most important things to be focusing on right now.
In other business the council agreed work needs to be done on streets in the community. Right now Maple City has been getting a lot of work done. There was talk of other streets in need of repairs.
The Commmon Council will work to ensure that much of these projects are taken care of with grants.