Marcellus (WSYR-TV) -- A small Central New York village is cashing in on the state’s efforts to reduce local government costs.
After a lengthy application process, the Village of Marcellus has been awarded $600,000 in grant money, which they plan to use for wastewater treatment plant improvements.
It may not be glamorous, but Marcellus officials say improvements to its wastewater treatment plant are critical to the village and the people it serves.
“We can control our rates; we can control our service. We don’t have to go to Metro, our guys can be on the scene in less than a half hour. We have control over expansion and development,” said Marcellus Mayor John Curtin.
The plant right now, one of only a handful in the county, is overcapacity. The money will help the village reduce inflow with necessary improvements without burdening people who live there.
“It’s mostly all residential. We don’t have any big business here to offset the costs of any big improvements, so we’re always looking for these grants,” said Plant Supervisor Greg Crysler.
Plant Operator Ryan Riefler told NewsChannel 9, “This wasn’t a just an ask for money type situation. You had to show need, have a reason for it and obviously had to be better than the other applicants out there.”
Village officials have already come up with some ways to make the plant more efficient on their own. For instance, taking wood chips and mixing it will sludge from the sewage treatment plant, that way they can make some compost to give to people for free and the plant doesn't have to haul it away, which could save them tens of thousands of dollars.
“A small plant can do a lot of things without having big brother tell you this can’t be done,” said Curtin.
The grant should allow them to do even more, which could be used at other plants in the area.
Marcellus was one of 21 municipalities in New York State to share in the $4-million of local government efficiency grant money.