Saugerties sewage plant neighbors complain about odors

The Saugerties Sewer Plant viewed from across Esopus Creek. (Photo by David Gordon)

Administrator Vince Buono told the Saugerties Village Board meeting on September 19 that there had been a complaint about odors from the village’s sewage plant. Mayor Bill Murphy said he spoke to the person and it appears to have been resolved. “I told him, you know you live next to a sewage treatment plant; he’s a nice guy and he enjoyed us talking to him. He has health problems. Murphy said one recommendation that plant operator Joe Myers and Superintendent Mike Hopf discussed with neighbors would be to stop taking sludge, not right now, but in the future. “That’s $120,000 a year in the tubes,” Hackett replied. He suggested that constructing a building above the sludge treatment works would help solve the problem. This was originally part of a planned major upgrade. Buono, who lives downwind of the plant, said he was aware of the smell “and it has been more frequent lately.” Buono said the neighborhood had been very patient, but he doubted any of the administrators would be happy living downwind of the sewage plant.

“We’ve been talking about it for eight years,” Hackett said. “We’re voting approvals, we’re making plans for it, but nothing’s happening.” The discussion focused on the difficulty of obtaining parts and labor to repair the machines, the difficulty of finding qualified personnel and the work required to bring the plant up to the highest standards. Administrator Terry Parisian said there are funds available for sewer upgrades, which will help with the $6.5 million the plant will need.