State funds will not be used to cover legal costs for the Binghamton-Johnson City wastewater treatment plant

Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant. (Vaughn Golden / WSKG)

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – The City of Binghamton and Johnson City will not receive state funds to cover legal fees associated with resolving disputes with contractors for the processing plant restoration and rehabilitation project Binghamton-Johnson City Common Wastewater Facility.

Chuck Shager, Binghamton Controller presented a bill to the city council Tuesday stating that the New York Environmental Facility Corporation (EFC) refused to reimburse owners of sewage treatment plants for about $ 265,000 for fees associated with the constitution of dispute resolution boards to manage contractual disagreements with several contractors.

Shager told board members he expected EFC to cover these costs under the initial contracts for the roughly $ 278 million project.

“EFC accepted these contracts when we originally submitted them,” Shager said. “Now that we submit these charges to EFC, they refuse to make payments on them. Their statement is “this is not one of the fees they would normally have to bond for.”

The town of Binghamton and the village of Johnson City would each be responsible for around $ 120,000, Shager said. It requests the city for appropriate funds from the general sewerage fund to cover the cost, then submits the expenses to be covered by the taxpayers in the same way debt is normally financed for sewer plant projects. .

The restoration and rehabilitation project is the result of the 2011 flood causing severe damage to the facility in addition to a catastrophic collapse of the wall later in the year.

The city has settled several disputes with contractors over the past year, some without the involvement of a dispute resolution board. They include establishments with Quandel Construction for $ 1.2 million in additional costs, J&K Plumbing for a claim of $ 144,000, John W Danforth Company for $ 115,000 as well as Matco Electric. Shager said the only dispute that has not been resolved concerns PC Construction and that the dispute over the wall collapse is must go to a jury trial Next year. These regulations were transmitted via change orders to the project.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation told WSKG last week that the treatment plant was still under consent order closely monitoring the plant’s effluent in the Susquehanna River. *

“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is working closely with the City of Binghamton, the Village of Johnson City and the Joint Sewage Board to advance a complete overhaul of the facility. -Johnson City wastewater treatment facility that protects public health and the environment and will benefit the Binghamton area for years to come, ”DEC said in a statement to WSKG.

The plant’s effluent flows have been well below the levels authorized by the State for several months.

* Full Disclosure: The Department of Environmental Protection is an underwriter of WSKG.

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