By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
INLET - It was 13 years from concept to finish, but the Town of Inlet now has its wastewater treatment plant.
The dream became reality when a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the plant Friday afternoon, Sept. 6.
Inlet Supervisor John Frey told the group gathered at the plant in the woods on the side of a hill in Fern Park, "This all started 13 years ago when the town board chose Bernier & Carr as our engineers on the project.
"Many thanks to the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for working with [the U.S. Department of Agriculture's] Rural Development to obtain the funding and many thanks to everyone, including [former Supervisor John] J.R. [Risley], who helped make this happen."
EFC provided a $1,734,000 grant and a $578,000 zero interest loan, while Rural Development provided a $1,788,000 grant.
Adirondack Park Agency Chairwoman Lani Ulrich said, "I was here last year for the groundbreaking. I always tell everyone Inlet gets it done before Old Forge has formed a committee."
A POSITIVE STEP
Representing Gov. Andrew Cuomo was Jeffrey Farrell, who said, "The governor sends his greetings and congratulates you for protecting your natural resources. This project is a positive step in protecting your water supply."
Willie Janeway, executive director of The Adirondack Council, congratulated Inlet for persevering with a project to protect the water supply. "It's hard to make the investment when people don't see the physical results," said Janeway.
USDA Rural Development NYS Director Stanley "Lee" Telega offered his congratulations and said, "Success occurs when need meets opportunity."
EFC State Needs Coordinator Jason Denno spoke of the importance of replacing septic tanks with wastewater treatment plants.
Bernier & Carr engineer Matt Cooper, who worked diligently on the project from dream to reality, said, "So many people worked to make this happen. Thirty of our staff at B&C over the years had some hand in this project. John and I were some of the few who were involved since the very beginning."
Then it was time for a tour of the plant, guided by Operator Don Haehl.
Suffice it to say the plant is high tech, modern and immaculately clean in every respect. The sewage comes in for treatment, and what is pumped out will not pollute the lake waters Inlet depends upon.
Frey has promised to soon hold an open house for the public.