Recorder News Staff

Amsterdam officials are proceeding with a more than $3 million project as part of an ongoing effort to correct the city’s combined sewer overflow issues.

The city has contracted with Altamont-based Pollard Excavating, Inc., who submitted the lowest bid at $3.193 million, to complete the project aimed to correct issues across the city’s three pump stations.

Amsterdam officials last month authorized John M. McDonald Engineering to make “appropriate revisions” to the bid documents and proceed with re-bidding “CSO Improvement Project Contract No. 2 — General Construction.”

Mayor Michael Villa said initial bid results came in too high and some aspects included had already been completed, so the Contract No. 2 was revised and rebid. Aldermen approved the most recent bid last week.

The project replaces and improves equipment at the South Side, East Side and West Side pump stations, which is aimed to help reduce combined sewer overflow incidents in the city. Some pumping equipment and controls being replaced are more than 40 years old.

“It’s to bring us up to where we need to be, especially with the East Side Pump Station,” Villa said.

The East Side Pump Station, located between Swan Street and Kline Road, processes wastewater from the entire city and pumps it to the Amsterdam Wastewater Treatment Plant. Villa said the most critical repairs are needed at the East Side Pump Station.

Funds for the project are being drawn from the $5 million funding package the state awarded Amsterdam last year. The assistance includes a $1.25 million grant from the state Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and a zero interest loan totaling $3.75 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

Villa said there were several steps required before crews could begin projects at the pump stations, which is why work is commencing about a year after the funding package was awarded.

“There’s a long lead time on pump repairs and replacement parts,” Villa said.

He also said an engineering study had to be completed before the project was bid.

A. Thomas Bates, of John M. McDonald Engineering, had said the state Department of Environmental Conservation required additional equipment to be installed during the improvement project, which exceeded the budget. He said there were also mistakes in some bids because of confusion about what was required.

“Some of the work that was initially involved was already completed, so they were bidding on stuff that had already been done,” Villa said Tuesday.

The state DEC required the city to install a bypass system at the East Side Pump Station until the worked commenced on the improvement project.

One of the two existing pumps at the station failed and the remaining pump was not operating at its capacity, which has caused overflows during high flow events, according to Bates.

Bates had said a temporary bypass pump was installed to assist the station, but more robust bypass system with additional pumps were required to prevent sewage overflows into the Mohawk River. The expanded bypass system has since been installed.