Common Council meeting highlights for 8-15-2017

One of the two pumps at the East Side sewage pump station on Swan Street in Amsterdam has failed, the other is working at approximately 50% capacity, according to Tom Bates, project manager for McDonald Engineering. Although a backup pump has been installed, it is not sufficient on its own to handle the 10-20 million gallons of sewage from the city that flows through the pump station and into the sewage treatment plant each day. If the main pump fails, sewage will flow into the Mohawk River instead.

The Amsterdam Common Council passed a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting concurring with the mayor to declare an emergency situation, which under the city’s charter, allows city officials to bypass the normal bidding process. According to Bates, an additional backup pump will be installed as soon as possible.

Money for the work will come from a $5 million capital project which was approved in February 2016 which included the replacement of the pumps, backup generators, and the repair of 17,000 feet of sewer piping, and additional upgrades to the other pump stations.

According to Bates, the project to replace the main pumps would have required the installation of backup pumps anyway. The city recently received bids for the project at the east side pump station, however McDonald Engineering has advised the city to reject all the bids for the project. The council passed a resolution rejecting the bids at Tuesday’s meeting.

Bates reported to the council that all the bids came in higher than expected, and some of the bids contained mistakes. He said the project will be re-bid, but that McDonald Engineering will recommend a contractor to install the bypass pump as a separate project.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Common Council accepted a bid from Carey’s Small Arms Ventilation for $254,494 to upgrade the Amsterdam Police Department’s indoor firing range at the Public Safety Building. The bulk of the costs involve the purchase and installation of a ventilation system to remove lead particles and carbon monoxide from the range.

The project is being paid for by a grant from the Dormitory Authority State of New York. Police Chief Greg Culick credited NY State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara with securing the loan for the city.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.