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Fage memorandum under construction

August 13, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN -The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility continues to work with Johnstown officials on a proposed memorandum of understanding regarding future water use at the Fage USA yogurt plant at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Facility consultant George Bevington told the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board Wednesday night the memorandum is expected to be completed this summer. It is being processed by the Common Council and the city's Water Board.

"We are unaware it's been completed yet," Bevington said.

The memorandum relates to a future agreement about how much water Fage will need with its expansion.

Fage USA officials have said they want to break ground this summer to build the $120 million expansion. Fage will build a 120,000-square-foot addition to its plant on Opportunity Drive and construct a new parking lot. The expansion also includes a whey pretreatment plant to be built on nearby property on Union Avenue.

The Water Board meets at 7 p.m. today. The council approved the memorandum in May. The Water Board had tabled the resolution in July pending further information regarding water testing.

Fage officials earlier this year said the company uses 91 million gallons of city water annually and might use 260 million gallons a year by 2016.

In another legal matter, Bevington noted sewer use law modification is pending regarding the extension of the maximum term of industrial wastewater permits from three to five years.

As it looked at Fage's long-term situation, the sewer board previously asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to request both cities modify existing sewer use law to allow the maximum amount of years for industrial permits to be extended. The board says a longer permit deadline is more appropriate for industries.

Bevington said Wednesday that city attorney Susan Palmer Johnson is drafting a proposed resolution to amend the law, and that may be presented at the Common Council's Aug. 20 meeting. He said a public hearing would have to be set on the issue as well. He said the Gloversville Common Council also has discussed the modification.



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