The Examiner

Mt. Kisco Approves Bond Resolutions for Water, Sewer Upgrades

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The Mount Kisco Village Board last week approved bond resolutions for sewer and water projects that will enable the municipality to pursue state funding to help pay for the upgrades.

In a series of actions at the Sept. 5 meeting, the board supported borrowing up to $7 million for water system improvements and as much as $9.5 million for sewer system enhancements.

The water improvements consist of water main replacements for Woodland Street, the mains to the water treatment plant on Byram Lake Road, which are about 115 years old, as well as last year’s work on North Bedford Road. Those projects are part of the village’s long-term $20 million water infrastructure capital plan.

One potential sewer project that is being looked at closely is replacing a 100-year-old wood sewer main that crosses Branch Brook and connects the system to the Saw Mill River Sewer Pump Station. It was lined about 20 to 25 years ago, but Village Manager Edward Brancati said last week there is the threat of a break that could potentially release sewage into the Croton Reservoir system, which would trigger a multimillion-dollar cleanup.

Another sewer project includes possible upgrades to the pump station, but Mayor Gina Picinich said that project is not as urgent as replacing the century-old main.

Picinich stressed that last week’s approvals do not commit Mount Kisco to borrowing and spending the money for the water or sewer projects, but puts the village in a position for state funding and the ability to go out to bid. Should the bids come back larger or different needs arise, officials do not have to follow through with the bond or they can adjust the length of the bond to make the costs more palatable for taxpayers.

“When you bundle these things together it makes our application more viable,” Picinich said. “We want to be as viable as possible and with the maximum amount of funding as possible.”

While the votes were unanimous to recognize the water main work as a Type II action to upgrade existing facilities under the state Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process, Trustee Karen Schleimer objected to the bond resolutions. She described the process as rushed with little to no discussion on a critical issue facing the village.

Schleimer said with the potential for prohibitively expensive projects, there should have been dialogue among board members sooner. The board needed to approve the bond resolutions by a Sept. 13 deadline to remain eligible for state funding, she said.

“I can’t understand for the life of me that when we’re looking at reports from January and April, we’re sitting here on a timeline of five days to evaluate a major project, and I am really concerned and I have read this stuff and I have a lot of concerns and I am not comfortable going ahead with this without further information,” Schleimer said.

One of her concerns centered about the potential increase of the three-day average flow to the sewer pump station, which stands at 1.5 million gallons per day (mgd). While the plant currently has a 2.9 mgd capacity, there had been consideration about expanding to 6.5 mgd and also about possibly bringing in the two New Castle communities of Riverwoods and Yeshiva that have failing septic systems.

However, Picinich said the New Castle issue is not part of what the Village Board was considering last week.

“That’s not on the table right now,” Picinich said. “That’s a consideration in which I completely agree, there needs to be a lot more conversation and a lot more due diligence. What we are doing right now and considering is do we want to apply for a grant which could be available to us.”

She added that there are several safeguards in place because a bond cannot be taken until the village goes out to bid and the bid is received and the work is started.

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