Ogdensburg seeks to shift management, operations of treatment plants to DANC | St. Lawrence County

OGDENSBURG – In line with its plan to share and consolidate services for cost reasons, the city wants to do just that with the Nordland Development Authority.

City Administrator Stephen P. Jellie would like to negotiate with DANC to reach a so-called intermunicipal agreement to manage and operationally support the city’s water and wastewater treatment plant. Mr. Jellie sent a letter to DANC Executive Director Carl E. Farone Jr. asking the Development Agency to provide a written response to the city’s request to look into the potential deal.

“I firmly believe that a partnership between our companies will significantly reduce the cost of services, make the workload more efficient and eliminate redundancies,” said Mr Jellie’s letter on March 1st.

Laurie A. Marr, director of communications and public affairs at DANC, confirmed on Thursday that the Development Agency has received the request from Mr. Jellie and will consider it at their Board of Directors meeting on March 25th.

“(DANC) works with community partners in the region and provides a variety of services upon request,” Farone said in an email statement on Thursday. “The Board of Directors will review this proposal and determine how to proceed.”

According to Jellie, DANC is currently providing a range of services to the city, including the management and administration of the sewage treatment plant, as well as support services for the water treatment plant. Mr. Jellie said it “just makes sense” for the city to determine whether DANC can provide “Total Services” more economically.

Mr Jellie also forwarded a tripartite declaration of work to Mr Farone in which, in addition to providing management and operational support for the wastewater treatment plants, he called on DANC to provide the city with GIS hosting – geographical information system – as well as technical support and studies.

Next year, the city will begin repaying a current US $ 39 million bond to finance the modernization and improvement of its wastewater treatment plant. According to Jellie, the city will pay $ 1.4 million a year for 30 years.

“In addition to the existing annual cost of running the treatment plant, the wastewater service charges for all users could increase significantly,” Jellie said in an email on Wednesday. “That’s why we need to explore every opportunity to reduce operating costs.”

In the past few weeks, the city has stepped up its efforts to share services with other government agencies. In addition to DANC, the city would like to share a number of services with St. Lawrence County.

Mr. Jellie’s multi-tiered joint service plan with St. Lawrence County was recently criticized when part of the plan included consolidating the county police force and the county sheriff’s office, an idea that generated much backlash.

On September 9, 2019, during its session, the city council unanimously approved the award of a construction contract to Jett Industries Inc. of Colliersville, Otsego County for the $ 35.9 million wastewater treatment capital improvement project.

Jett Industries offered $ 41.2 million for the project, beating a $ 41.5 million bid from Perras Excavating of Massena and a $ 46 million bid from DA Collins Construction of Wilton.

Additionally, the city could face a similar capital improvement project for its water treatment plant, which could cost about $ 30 million, according to Jellie.

“DANC continues to build capacity and capacity in water and wastewater management and is currently serving many communities in northern countries in this regard,” said Jellie. “Ogdensburg is looking forward to the further partnership and the potential to expand it.”

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