Andes board completes wastewater treatment deal


By Pauline Liu
Wastewater treatment, highway projects and flood-related issues were the highlights of the Andes Town Board meeting last Tuesday. 

Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly looked visibly happy when he announced the finalization of a deal to have Andes’ malfunctioning wastewater treatment system replaced by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“I’ve got good news,” said Donnelly. “We’ve finally got a concrete response from DEP.” He explained that DEP has officially agreed to pay just over $2 million to replace the system. In addition, DEP paid $176,000 to cover the cost of project design for the plant. “They (DEP) were very cooperative, plus the $180,000 means there will be no impact on our taxpayers,” he said. “Thank God!”

Years of problems
The plant, which is hooked up to over 170 homes, businesses and public facilities went into operation about eight years ago. It was plagued with problems almost from the very start. The facility was approved and owned by the Village of Andes, which was dissolved even before the plant opened.  It was designed and built by Lawler, Matusky & Skelly Engineers LLP in Pearl River. The company was sold in 2005.  The magnitude of the plant’s flaws came to light during flooding in June of 2006. Then in 2010, heavy rains caused the system to fail for two days, from September 30 to October 1.

In other flood-related news, the town board unanimously approved the newly updated flood law and flood maps following a brief public hearing. The new legislation, which is being called Local Law #1 of 2012, allows Andes to continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Andes Supervisor Donnelly and Highway Superintendent Mike McAdams announced that they have recently received four reimbursement checks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) totaling $11,373.84. The highway department also sold scrap metal for $840.50.

Highway Superintendent McAdams’ requests to buy material and rent equipment for highway department use were unanimously approved by the town board. The board approved McAdams’ request for $11,700 to purchase an eight and-a-half-foot pipe to replace the five-foot culvert currently installed on Fall Clove Road. “The current five-foot culvert is undersized and causes flooding in high water events,” wrote McAdams in his monthly highway report. 

Healthy news
In other news, Supervisor Donnelly announced that $3,000 raised by Andes resident Jen Finkle a number of years ago will be put to good use.  With Finkle’s approval, $1,500 will remain in the town’s Healthy Heart Fund for the eventual purchase of exercise equipment for Andes Central School and the remaining $1,500 will go towards the purchase and installation of a split rail fences along Andes’ trails.

Town Clerk Kimberly Tosi announced that the Delaware County Health Department will be sponsoring a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats at the Andes Firehall on Friday, May 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.

She also announced that the Andes Town Board will be switching to its spring and summer meeting hours as of next month. The next town board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 at town hall.