Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley.
Elizabethtown will seek solutions to the lack of state funding available for the Elizabethtown sewer project.
After learning from local officials the $8.5 million the town seeks for the completion of it’s sewer system project has been drastically trimmed, Bartley has asked project contractors Barton & Loguidice to construct three new water districts.
“We’re moving forward and looking at smaller designs,” Bartley said. “If we can put in the core system now and still build more in the future when more money is available, we can expand more easily.”
Barton & Loguidice designed three prospective plans to create a smaller sewer system for the town.
Design A would connect everything on the west side of Court Street from the Arsenal Inn Restaurant to the bus garage. Bartley said it would connect about 20 users, including Elizabethtown Community Hospital, the Essex County Government Center and the Horace Nye Nursing Home. The cost of the first design would be between $2 million and $3 million.
Design B would connect both sides of Court Street and include Hand Ave. The cost of the second design would be roughly $4 million.
Design C would be a combination of the first two and extend the sewer system to Park Street and to residents on Hillcrest Ave.
The redesigned plans will exclude River and Water Streets due to the increased cost of pumping uphill.
At the town’s monthly meeting March 20, Bartley announced the state funding for the proposed Elizabethtown town sewer system now falls short of the needed $8.5 million for the project’s completion. State officials can only offer the town of Elizabethtown $1 million for the projects completion, and the money could only be used for connecting low income housing to an existing system.
“They said the state has $18 million for all sewer and water projects,’ Bartley said. “You need $8.5 million, we have $18 million for the entire state. Theres no money for you.”
Bartley said she could not say which plan she favored for the town. Once she and other town officials speak with a financial officer April 3 to discuss what sort of grants are available to help fund the projects, Bartley said she will be more prepared to make a decision.
“We need to know first what it’s going to cost our residents, because the residents cannot bear the bulk of this,” Bartley said.
As the Elizabethtown population is depleting with less job opportunities to bring in and keep more residents, Bartley said she believes by bringing in a sewer system that can withstand more industrial facilities will provide for growth.
“I truely believe a sewer system would ensure the future growth for this town and give current residents a reason to stay here,” Bartley said.
At a question and answer session at the Hand House March 28, Bartley presented the update to residents.
“I want people to know what’s happening and keep people connected with this project, because these changes are happening by the day,” Bartley said.
Bartley said the more prepared the town is for a new sewer system, the easier it will be if money becomes available in the future.
By constructing a comprehensive plan, Bartley said the town will be more likely to receive grant funding than it will be without a comprehensive plan in place.
“If we have a comprehensive plan it will give us credibility,” Bartley said.