Ulster Town officials last week gave Supervisor James E. Quigley III the authority to sign all documents relating to a community development block grant for Phase II of a Spring Lake Sewer District construction project.
The town was notified by New York State last month that it had received a $995,462 grant for the project, a significant increase over two prior attempts that were unsuccessful. At a meeting of the Town Board held on Thursday, November 17, Quigley said the prior attempts to seek a grant were done when the program’s maximum funding limit was $750,000, the same figure Ulster received for Phase I of the project. That limit has since been increased.
Work on Phase I connected Spring Lake Sewer District properties on Catskill Avenue, Golf Terrace and Lucas Avenue with the City of Kingston’s wastewater system, with the phase finishing up in 2021. The work connected 62 mobile homes, 41 single-family residences, two two-family residences, and one multi-family home.
The town sought and received a deadline extension for the use of the grant for Phase I when the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 left some property owners worried they might have a difficult time paying a connection fee that ranged between $3000-$6000. The Town Board approved using $442,000 of the landfill closure fund to cover those fees, with the Phase I grant reimbursing the town after completion.
Phase II will expand the run of connections to the wastewater system, including portions of Lucas Avenue and Maxwell Lane, as well as a housing project with 29 homes. It will also contain connections to the Spring Lake Fire Department, a nearby auto repair business, and three vacant properties.
Work on Phase II is expected to get underway in the spring of 2023, though there is considerable work to be done before then, including a final environmental review by the state. During the November 17 Town Board meeting, Quigley said there were other details in the project yet to be established, including how much, if any, of the work would be done by the town itself.
“I would like the scope of work to be agreed upon by the DEC (state Department of Environmental Conservation) and then like to have a discussion with the water superintendent and highway superintendent about the level of work that they have for their forces,” Quigley said. “Next year before we make a commitment of doing the project in house, which is what we’ve done in the past, we’re going to public bid.”
Quigley added that the Highway Department may have a full dance card in 2023 fixing roads, joking that the next municipal election cycle may influence that work.
“The Highway Department did not do a large amount of blacktop this year,” Quigley said. “They are behind schedule and I know that Superintendent (Frank) Petramale is up for reelection next year, so he wants to put the blacktop down.”
Approval for the supervisor to file paperwork relating to the grant and Phase II of the project was given during a Town Board meeting held on Thursday, December 1. At that time, Quigley estimated that the project may cost around $1,200,000 to complete.
The next meeting of the Ulster Town Board is scheduled for Thursday, December 15.