I have resided in the village of Webster for the past 26 1/2 years. As a taxpayer of both the village of Webster and the town of Webster, I attended two meetings held in the Village Hall — Dec. 5, 2017 — a joint village and town workshop to discuss the two wastewater treatment plants located in both the village and the town. I also attended a Village Board meeting open to the public on Dec. 28, 2017, — to understand the response of the village mayor and board to a resolution to approve a study to examine a joint Wastewater Treatment Plant with the town of Webster.
At the workshop on Dec. 5, 2017, the town of Webster’s consulting engineers — Barton & Loguidice — outlined the Joint Project Opportunities and Benefits as follows:
• Less redundant infrastructure.
• Capital cost savings.
• Annual operating and maintenance cost savings.
• Opportunity to leverage larger grants available from the New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program.
• Note: Larger grant amounts are encouraged and awarded by New York State when there is an opportunity to consolidate facilities — a significant financial savings to taxpayers.
• Note: Barton & Loguidice pointed out in their presentation that the village of Webster and town of Webster current separate systems are unique — the only ones configured similarly in New York State.
• Reduced risk and liability to both village and town of Webster.
I also recently watched the YouTube video of a Sept. 5, 2017, Village Board meeting of a presentation by the village’s consulting engineers sharing the result of their study of the village wastewater treatment facility — a limited scope analysis of the structural integrity of the facility and equipment as well as energy efficiency opportunities.
From these meetings: I specifically recommend that a comprehensive assessment using the same methodology be undertaken for three specific alternatives as quickly as possible.
First, what are the financial and risk and liability impacts of upgrades to the town of Webster wastewater facility — including impacts to both town and village taxpayers?
Second, what are the financial and risk and liability impacts of upgrades to the village of Webster wastewater facility — including impacts to both town and village taxpayers?
Third, what are the financial and risk and liability impacts of a combined community of Webster wastewater facility — including impacts to both town and village taxpayers.
Call to action
I encourage all residents and businesses operating in the village of Webster and the town of Webster to reach out to village officials and town officials on these issues; let your voices be heard and plan to attend upcoming Village Board and Town Board meetings.
Finally, I encourage the Mayor Darrell Byerts and Supervisor Ron Nesbitt to have a cup of coffee together, get to know each other a little bit and collaboratively move forward for the combined best interests of the residents and taxpayers of Webster.
William Stata
Webster