The massive rebuild of the Binghamton – Johnson City Joint Sewage plant could cost more to complete then originally thought, and with it could come an increase in sewage fees for nearby residents.
Since 2011, much of the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage plant has been inoperable or performing poorly due to system failures. Much of that is thanks to Tropical Storm Lee which caused flood damage that year.
The Joint Sewage Board met for its monthly meeting Tuesday to see where the project stands.
One of the major restoration and rehabilitation goals is a new flood wall, which will protect the plant to an elevation 1.5 feet above the 2011 flood level. The flood wall includes concrete walls on the east and north side.
The project also includes two new pump stations to pump rainwater out of the plant during the storm events that exceed the existing storm drain system.
However, the cost of the project could be increasing and taxpayers in Town of Union, Johnson City and Binghamton could see their sewer fees go up. An exact amount could not be confirmed. However, some reports suggest project costs could triple.
The City of Binghamton is the lead agency in the rebuild project and Binghamton Mayor Rich David and Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie control the financing.
According to the Joint Sewage Project website, the project must be fully complete by March 2019. The flood wall systems are being funded by a FEMA recovery grant.