Government

Olean Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Taps into $520,000 of Contingency Funds

1ef9780fe3a7147ce815_file3.jpeg
A sign outside of the plant on South 19th Street details the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades Project. Credits: Anthony Sambrotto
a4d7e538eb9b9c823069_file__3_.jpeg
Upgrades are underway at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Olean. Credits: Anthony Sambrotto
1ef9780fe3a7147ce815_file3.jpeg

OLEAN, NY – The City of Olean Common Council has authorized the use of $520,000 of contingency funds on the upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment  Plant.

The plant, which is located at 174 S. 19th St., had its last major renovations in the 1970s. Olean officials were under pressure by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Region 2 of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to make upgrades or face fines.

“We had the choice to do this project or take the typical fine which is like $16,000 a day,” Alderman Kevin Dougherty said. “That’s quite a big number compared to making the investment into changing the plant, and then it is something that needed to be addressed anyways as it is getting older.”

Sign Up for E-News

The total cost of the project that began in the fall of 2015 had a price tag of $23.25 million, with over one million dollars set aside for use as contingency funds. The city had to tap into those funds due to unforeseen costs in construction.

“Out of a 20-plus million project, it’s insignificant in that regard,” Dougherty said. “A lot of times it is more than the $520,000. It is a pretty light dive into that contingency that was already built in. So everything went according to plan, but we just had this little snag.”

The contingency funds will help to upgrade new pumps, filters and waste-processing containers.

The reason the DEC had been pressuring the city for over a decade was because of what happened to the plant after major rainstorms, according to Alderman Nate Smith.

“Unfortunately during large rain events, which happen occasionally throughout the year, the plant couldn’t handle the capacity,” Smith said. “When the plant can’t handle the capacity, the sewage bypasses the plant and is ejected into the river unfiltered and unclean.”

The project was paid for through the sale of bonds, and the contingency funds did not cost taxpayers any additional money, according to Dougherty.

The DEC had given Olean until fall of this year to begin work on the project or face the hefty fines of $16,000 daily that Dougherty mentioned. The DEC could have actually charged the city close to $40,000 a day if it was out of compliance with environmental regulations, with a maximum fine of $100 million, according to Olean Mayor William Aiello.

Stopping the untreated sewage going into the Allegheny River was the biggest concern, and that is why officials had no choice but to tap into the contingency fund to make sure the problem was fixed for good, according to Alderman Jerry LeFeber, who is the chair of the sewage and water committee.

“It was something that was explained to us quite thoroughly, and the money was there to be used, so we had no choice but to make the necessary modifications,” LeFeber said.

Construction is expected to be finished by mid-2017, in time for some of those heavy summer rains, LeFeber said.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, July 19, 1:00 PM

Olean

Fossils: Clues to the Past

Education

Carousel_image_afd68efb1a8dec240892_2018_final_taste_art_in_the_park_poster

Sun, July 22, 11:00 AM

War Veterans Park, Olean

Taste of Olean / Art in the Park

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Mon, July 23, 12:00 PM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile

Education

State Grant Wil Help Ellicottville Brewing Company Expand in Cattaraugus County

July 18, 2018

ALBANY, NY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced the grand opening of Ellicottville Brewing Company's fourth location in Cattaraugus County.

The company's new 75,000-square-foot facility in Little Valley allows for the expansion of commercial production and bottling operations and the addition of 40 new full-time jobs. Ellicottville Brewing Company, which distributes its ...

Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...