The Need for Sewer
Hyde Park's commercial district does not have a sewer system; each business or plaza operates its own septic system. Sewer service would allow commercial sites to be expanded or redeveloped with a greater intensity of business and residential use. This would expand the commercial tax base, create jobs and provide more shopping and dining options.
The essential elements to create a sewer system are: a data-based plan, funding to support construction, and agreement of the district ratepayers. The Town Board is working on the plan and the funding so the ratepayers can decide if they're ready for this investment.
Developing a Plan
The Hyde Park Town Board obtained a grant from NYSERDA to create a plan and engineering report for a sewer system for the town center. (Learn more on the Planning page.) The town convened a steering committee of agencies, landowners, business people and community members, which has been meeting regularly with professional consultants from Delaware Engineering. The engineers are producing a sewer engineering report, projected for completion in February 2018. It will define the properties to be served, collection system, treatment technology and budget for installation and operation.
For a sewer district to form, the property owners in the district must agree. The district would pay for the construction of the sewer pipes and treatment plant through long-term borrowing (bonding). Unfortunately, the annual payment for each property owner, in the form of a sewer district tax, would be too high if they had to bear the full cost.
The Town Board is working to obtain outside funds to cover a large portion of the construction costs so that the amount the district must bond is affordable to the property owners.
Progress so far:
- Partnership for Manageable Growth: Dutchess County committed $500,000 toward a Hyde Park sewer system in 2015 through the Partnership for Manageable Growth program.
- Bellefield contribution: The proposed Bellefield project across from the Culinary Institute has committed to contributing $1.25 million toward construction of a sewer system for the town center area.
- Applications pending for New York State grants: Most state funding for sewer systems is reserved for repairs to failing systems, so the Town Board identified programs better suited to Hyde Park's needs. In July 2017, the Town Board applied for two grants.
- Open House: On October 19, the Town Board will host an open house to share progress on the Town Center planning project, including the preliminary sewer plans. Residents are invited to provide feedback.
- Engineering Report: The report will be finalized around February 2018.
- District Formation: Dutchess County recently awarded the Town a grant of $75,000 to advance toward district formation. In coordination with County partners, the Town will complete the necessary reviews and legal processes, and bring a district proposal to the property owners for their approval.