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City sewer upgrades move forward with $65,000 engineering contract

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OGDENSBURG — The city is moving forward with a planned upgrade to its sewage collection system.

City Council members on Monday approved a $65,000 contract with GHD Consulting Engineers LLC, Cazenovia, which covers the engineering of a project to raise the city’s 17 weirs — small, dam-like obstructions in the sewage system that help to prevent overflow.

Deputy Mayor Michael D. Morley said the engineering will be completed within a month so that construction can begin this summer.

“They are going to tell us what we need to do,” Mr. Morley said of GHD Consulting Engineers.

This year’s project is part of a multi-year, $4.5 million project mandated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in order to reduce the amount of sewage being released into the St. Lawrence River.

The project, which City Manager John M. Pinkerton said will be complete by 2019, is designed to capture 90 percent of the city’s sewage flow.

Currently the system collects 75 percent of the flow headed towards the St. Lawrence River and 90 percent headed towards the Oswegatchie River.

Raising the city’s weirs will increase the collection of sewage flowing to the St. Lawrence River to 78 percent and bump the Oswegatchie River collection to 93 percent.

Mr. Pinkerton said the total price tag for the weir improvements will be roughly $250,000.

“We’re going to do as much as we can with (the city Department of Public Works),” Mr. Pinkerton said.

As it stands now, Mr. Pinkerton said, the city believes it can raise seven or eight weirs using city staff. The others will require an outside contractor.

Mr. Morley said GHD Consulting will help the city oversee the project.

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