JOHNSTOWN - The Empire State Development Board of Directors has approved a $1 million grant for the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility's $7 million upgrade project.
"It's important to secure grant funding like this because it helps lessen the load on the cities as far as debt,"said facility Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick.
The $7.2 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
The new grant money will pay for a portion of the cost of machinery and equipment to install sewer piping, an equalization tank, process tanks and pumps to accommodate the expansion of yogurt maker Fage USA.
Masick said the grant was expected. A public hearing and approval by the Public Authorities Control Board are still required before the money can be handed out, he said.
"Over the last three years, under Governor Cuomo's leadership, ESD has worked with nearly 700 projects, offering more than $1 billion in grants, loans, tax credits and other incentives in return for their commitments to create or retain more than 180,000 jobs," Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said in a news release. "We have seen businesses rebuild and grow thanks to the support given by the administration and are excited about the new projects and new jobs coming to New York in 2014."
The sewer plant underwent a similar $10 million upgrade in 2008. Both upgrades are designed to help the sewage treatment plant treat more waste from local industries, including the expanding Greek-yogurt plant Fage USA in the Johnstown Industrial Park.
Masick said the C.O. Falter Construction Corp. of Syracuse, which is being paid $3.93 million for general construction work associated with the upgrade, has been at the sewer plant every day.
The sewer plant is expected to receive at least $4 million in grants for the upgrade. The city of Johnstown is borrowing for the project, expecting reimbursement later.
The project is receiving a $500,000 grant from National Grid as well as state and federal funding.
The plant previously was awarded a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant to help pay for the 2008 upgrade. Masick said the sewer plant recently received the last $173,180 payment from $980,000 in grant money received from NYSERDA after the plant upgraded its ability to generate its own power.
The sewer plant improvements will make Fage's $150 million expansion feasible and allow for future development, the news release said. The Fage expansion is expected to create about 150 jobs.
The sewer plant treats all wastewater generated by the approximately 25,000 people living in the two cities, 24 industries and about 100 users outside the corporate limits of the two cities.