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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 7, 2009

Residents complain
Discolored village water is “no fun”

ALTAMONT — Four villagers complained to the mayor and trustees Tuesday night about discolored water.

One of them, Wayde Bush, placed two plastic containers — one filled with light brown water and one with darker brown water — on the board’s meeting table.

Timothy McIntyre, the commissioner of public works for the village, responded that there had been a break in the water main and the village had to do an extensive flush to find it. It caused some residents’ water to be discolored, he said, and has now been repaired.

“People’s health is of the utmost importance to us,” said McIntyre. “We test the water frequently.”

McIntyre said there are seven test spots in the village and each day of the week a test is done at one of them. He was out of town yesterday and could not be reached for further details.

Bush also had a plastic sack filled with granules that he said had come from his washing machine. He and his neighbors said the discoloration had been going on for two years.

Two new wells on Brandle Road went online in the summer of 2007, completing a $1.4 million project that just about doubled the village’s water supply. There were some village-wide problems with water discoloration soon after the new wells came on line. Parts of the village’s water system are over 100 years old, and after the wells were hooked up, changes in pressure and water-flow direction caused mineral deposits to break loose, causing discoloration.

The build-up of iron and other minerals in the pipes is called tuberculation, said Rich Straut, an engineer with Barton and Loguidice who had worked with the village in the fall of 2007 to solve the problem. He and McIntyre added a polyphosphate and orthophosphate blend to the water to act as a corrosion inhibitor, which would help stop the discoloration, said Straut at the time.  The chemicals have been used for that purpose since the 1960s, he said, and that program combined with uni-directional flushing would clean out the pipes.

“Once you have that discolor, it takes forever to get rid of it,” Bush, who lives on Brandle Road, told the board on Tuesday night. “It’s not fun.”

Bush had served on the village board himself until he and other incumbents were ousted in the 2005 election, when Mayor James Gaughan won his seat.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Gaughan questioned why people hadn’t complained earlier if their water had been discolored for two years.

Other business

In other business, the village board unanimously:

— Accepted a proposal of $8,205.20 from Grassland Equipment & Irrigation Corp. for a Toro 27 horsepower mower with a 52-inch side discharge deck, a DFS bagger kit, and Vac blower kit purchased on state contract at the request of McIntyre;

— Appointed Marijo Dougherty to replace Alice Begley in the museum and archive, effective May 5.  The current annual salary is $1,597 and, effective June 1, will increase to $1,635 as in the adopted budget;

— Set a public hearing for June 2 at 7:45 p.m. at village hall for authorization to spend about $13,500 from the police car reserve and about $16,000 from the senior van reserve to buy a new senior van;

— Approved a proposal from Pollard Excavating, which was the lowest of three bids, to replace the Brandle Creek headwall as outlined in a Federal Emergency Management Agency contract for $8,997 at the request of McIntyre;

— Approved two proposals from All Weather Construction, which had the lowest of four bids for both categories, for the repair of a stream bank on the south side of Brandle Road, for $15,000, and on the north side of the road, for $11,000, as outlined in FEMA contracts at the request of McIntyre;

— Voted to hold an official opening of the Maple Avenue Tot Playground on or before July 16 to thank those who are responsible for raising $17,443 to install the playground and host an artists’ exhibition called Dogs in the Park from July 16 to Aug. 21;

— Designated Key Bank, First National Bank of Scotia, First Niagara Bank, Citizens Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Pioneer Bank, Pioneer Commercial Bank, NBT Bank, and M&T Bank as official depositories of Altamont;

— Hired Tim McIntyre Jr., of Berne, and Chris Le Clair, of Altamont, at $8.72 an hour and Chet Ferriero, of Berne, at $8.50 an hour as part-time seasonal laborers for the Department of Public Works from mid-June through mid-September at the request of Superintendent McIntyre;

— Hired Germaine Rexford, of Gun Club Road, as a part-time seasonal laborer for Bozenkill Park, for up to 20 hours per week at an hourly wage of $12.36, from mid-May through mid-September on the recommendation of Jean La Crosse, the village clerk;

— Considered Barton & Loguidice’s feasibility study for the upgrade of the village’s wastewater treatment plant.

The proposal includes: examining the existing plant process components, equipment tanks, filters, piping, and controls and making a general assessment of their condition and remaining useful life; evaluating the requirements to upgrade the treatment plant to provide capacity sufficient to treat the variable flow rates; preparing project cost estimates for the construction of the improvements; preparing operation and maintenance cost estimates for comparison to the cost of operating the existing plant; identifying potential affordable financing, grants, and rebates that may be available to offset some of the cost of improvements; estimating the impact of implementing the project on sewer rates; preparing a report summarizing the analysis, findings, and recommendations and presenting it to the village board; and meeting with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to review the report and recommendations. 

The fee for engineering services is $7,000;

— Entered into a master services agreement with Barton & Loguidice, effective June 1, for basic advisory services at a rate of $105 an hour, not to exceed a total of 120 hours a year;

— Supported the Altamont Farmers’ Market to be held this summer at the Altamont train station;

— Hired Weakley Enterprises Commercial Cleaning, of Pattersonville, N.Y., for a one-time strip and wax of the community room floor, for $840, and for once-a-month floor maintenance for $200 a month on the recommendation of McIntyre; and

— Granted a request for village water and sewer for a single-family dwelling at 1085 Berne-Altamont Rd. at the request of Scott Tuzzolo.  The water service connection fee is $2,500 and the sewer hook-up fee is $5,000, to be paid before connection.

Enterprise staff

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