State selects Johnstown, Gloversville for wastewater infrastructure program

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AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at a gubernatorial forum hosted by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce in Rochester Friday. The same day she announced 27 municipalities statewide, including Gloversville and Johnstown, were selected to participate in a program that her office said will help develop asset management programs to evaluate, monitor, protect, and responsibly plan upgrades for wastewater infrastructure facilities.

JOHNSTOWN — The cities of Johnstown and Gloversville have been selected as part of a state program that will assist the municipalities plan upgrades for wastewater infrastructure facilities.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday that the two Fulton County cities had been selected as two of the 27 municipalities statewide that will participate in a program that will help them develop asset management programs to evaluate potential upgrades for wastewater infrastructure sites.

“The benefit is that we, like every municipality around, have aging infrastructure,” City of Johnstown Engineer Chris Vose said of the program. “We need to start addressing that because we’re seeing increased problems every year. On the water side, there are water leaks and main breaks.”

The state has made $10 million available for the program through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act. According to the state, the asset management process includes procedures to track inventories and examine infrastructure throughout its life cycle.

“The asset management program allows us to help get inventories of what we have and helps us establish a plan going forward of how we can attack replacing a lot of this infrastructure,” Vose said on Friday. “In at least our specific case, some of it is 150 years old. That’s something that’s been lacking for probably a couple of decades almost realistically in the city.”

The new round of funding represents the second phase of the state’s asset management program, after a state $3 million pilot program was completed in 2021.

“The State’s Asset Management Program advances resources and expertise to help municipal leaders establish robust programs to maintain and upgrade essential wastewater infrastructure systems,” Hochul said in a statement. “My administration is committed to helping local communities across the state protect wastewater systems that are often a municipality’s single-most valuable asset. By evaluating flood resilience needs, these local asset management programs will help our communities mitigate the effects of climate change and better prepare for the future.”

Vose noted that the two cities jointly own a wastewater treatment plant that handles waste from both cities.

“It’s going to allow us to track and manage the infrastructure that feeds that plant, as well as the plant itself,” he said of the asset management program. “It’s going to go a long way towards helping us, especially as we’re looking at potential projects that would include taking waste from communities up north along the Route 30 corridor. So that’s going to go a long way to helping us understand some of the deficiencies that we have that we can correct before we implement those projects and help make the plant run more efficiently.”

By Ted Remsnyder

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