Oneida County legislators have approved a $40 million bond issue to fix a situation where sanitary sewers in and around Utica leak into the stormwater system and eventually the Mohawk River during heavy rain.
The project is for the Oneida County Sewer District, which serves Utica, New Hartford, Whitestown, Marcy and several other municipalities. Rome has its own sewer system.
The project stems from a consent order the county entered in 2007 and revised in 2011 with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation over overflows of the sanitary sewer system at the Sauquoit Creek Pump Station on Sauquoit Creek, which separates Whitesboro and Yorkville. The revised consent agreement gives the county until the end of 2021 to fix the overflow problem, which is blamed on runoff seeping into the sanitary sewer and overwhelming it.
The Board of Legislators previously approved bond issues of $117 million and $160 million for the project, but planners recently revised the cost estimate.
The resolution lawmakers approved contains estimates of how much the project will add to the costs paid on homes within the 14-municipality sewer district.
The additional expense is estimated to add $38 for a single-family home and $57 for a two-family home, bringing the total added cost to $300 and $450 respectively, according to the legislation.
Lawmakers from within the district raised questions about the cost of the project during the board’s Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday but ultimately did not object.
“You’re listening to someone who’s paying more for water going out than coming in; that’s a concern,” said legislator Tim Julian, I-19 , Utica.
Municipalities in the sewer
district are Utica, New York Mills, Yorkville, Whitesboro, Oriskany town and village of New Hartford, Clayville, Whitestown, Paris, Marcy and Deerfield, with Holland Patent, Frankfort and Schuyler served by intermunicipal agreements.