The Sewer Project – Phase I
Highlights Brennan Construction will continue working in the Bedford Hills Business District through July, including water service replacement on Babbitt Road. Coordination is underway with regulatory agencies for final testing and startup of sewer pump...
April 2, 2020
The long-awaited Sewer Project has commenced and is proceeding on schedule. This public-health public works project will provide sewers to the Katonah and Bedford Hills neighborhood business districts and three properties within those hamlets – Katonah Elementary School, St. Mary’s School and Rectory, and Bedford Park Westchester on Rome Avenue.
According to the work plan, the project, financed 95% by New York City, the County and the State, will take 18 months to complete.
Under the present conditions and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to continue with this project has been carefully considered and approved by the state, county and NYC.
The Town, contractor, and construction manager have prioritized public and worker health and safety and the work plan minimizes to the greatest extent practicable impacts on residents (noise, dust and other disruption).
Please contact Ken Kohlbrenner with Woodard & Curran, the Town Project Manager, Katie Mockler, the Town’s Construction Manager, or Kevin Winn, Bedford DPW Commissioner, with any questions or concerns:
W&C Project Manager
W&C Project Engineer
Town DPW Commissioner
1. What is the project purpose and scope?
The project will provide sewer service to:
- Bedford Hills and Katonah Commercial Business Districts, which have predominantly substandard septic systems.
- Three properties that have existing small wastewater treatment facilities that otherwise would have required replacement by New York City to protect New York City Water System water quality: Katonah Elementary School, St. Mary’s School and Rectory, and Bedford Park Westchester on Rome Avenue.
The Sewer will be connected to the existing wastewater plant (by the prison) owned by the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which the Town will take ownership of.
2. Why is construction proceeding in these difficult times?
The Town is aware that some feel that construction should be suspended, but the Town believes that the reasons to proceed, some of which are discussed below, are compelling, the project can be carried out safely and to do so is the prudent and appropriate course of action.
Reasons to proceed include:
Public Health. The area to be served by the sewer project has severe septic and cesspool issues, and the effluent from failures leaches into the groundwater and surface water. The Town has had to close municipal wells and construct a water filtration plant due to pollution linked to such effluent. The groundwater directly finds its way into the New York City water system.
Essential Construction. In addition to the practical and health-related needs to proceed with the sewer project, the most recent guidance from the Governor and Empire State Development Corporation states that essential construction may proceed, including water and wastewater utility work. As such, the sewer project is critical and considered to be essential construction under the current conditions.
Contracts. The Town received bids for the construction work in fall 2019 and has entered into a binding construction contract with Brennan Construction. The contractor may have certain monetary and other remedies against the Town in the event the project is unilaterally delayed by the Town. Funding agreements have also been executed with New York City and Westchester County, and there is a grant agreement with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These agreements require that the Town meet construction milestones and move forward.
Commitment to Health and Safety. The Town is committed to progressing in a manner that minimizes impact on the public and stresses public and worker safety.
3. What is the contractor's health and safety protocol with respect to Covid-19?
The Town and Brennan Construction have given very careful thought to safety of the workers as well as the community. Brennan Construction has developed a comprehensive plan in compliance with CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of its workers in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The plan includes maintaining adequate social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks where necessary and appropriate, screening employees for any COVID-19 symptoms daily, and limiting use of local food establishments and grocery stores. In addition, employees will drive to work min separate cars and stay separated during breaks.
The plan will evolve to ensure its effectiveness as we learn more about Covid-19.
4. What is being done to reduce construction impacts of noise and dust
Unfortunately noise is inevitable from utility construction. Work will occur between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday. The start time has been changed from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM to reduce the noise impact on residents. Dust can be problematic during cutting of the road surface. The contractor will use water and street sweeping to keep dust to a minimum.
5. How long will work take place in front of my property?
The length of work in front of each individual property will vary depending on conditions such as depth of sewer and whether rock or other utilities are encountered. Installation of the sewer main is estimated to proceed at about 50 to 100 feet per day. This may mean that work is directly in front of your house for two to three days for installation of the main. Additional work to complete paving and restoration will include a separate crew coming back later.
6. Where will sewer lines be run?
Sewer lines will run throughout the Bedford Hills and Katonah along the following roads:
- Valley Road from Katonah Avenue to New Street, New Street from Valley to Huntville, and Huntville from New Street to Katonah Elementary School.
- All of Katonah Avenue
- The Parkway from Bedford Road to Katonah Avenue
- Allen Place
- Edgemont Road from Katonah Avenue to Bedford Road
- Woods Bridge Road from Edgemont Road to Lot 3
- Bedford Road from Allen Place to Harris Road
- Harris Road from Bedford Road to Beaver Dam Road
- All of Rome Avenue to Bedford Park Apartments
- Babbitt Road from Rome Avenue to Harris Road
- Babbitt Road from Adams Street to Robinson Avenue
- Griffin Avenue
- Adams Street
- Main Street from Adams Street to Church Street
A map is attached, which provides more detail.
7. How is the project funded?
Approximately 95% of the project funds are from non-Town sources including New York City and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The remaining funds, $1.2 million, have been borrowed by the Town and will be paid for only by property owners within the sewer district. Property owners outside of the district will not pay for the project.
Adequate funds exist to complete the project, including a reasonable contingency.
8. Do property owners that will not receive sewer service pay for the project?
Property owners outside of the district will not pay for the project.
9. What is the project schedule, and how will that be communicated to the public?
The overall project is anticipated to take 18 months to complete. Weekly construction status updates will be posted on the Town website and included in email notices. The updates will describe recent work completed and where the work will be taking place next.
There will be an information session about the construction schedule on Monday, April 6 at 7:00 PM via Zoom and broadcast on the town website.
View the meeting here:
Click “Town Meetings and Agendas”
then “Town Board Meetings” see the live stream button
Please email questions for the meeting to: email@example.com
Join the Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 596 186 6179
Phone Number 646 558 8656
10. What will be the impact of construction on the road and on my property, and how will the road be restored?
If your property is along the sewer main route, which is described above, the contractor will be excavating within the road bed to install sewer pipes and certain equipment may also be located in the Town right-of-way. The contractor will provide traffic control and maintain traffic flow. No work will take place on private property.
Once the trench is dug and the sewer installed there will be steel plates over the trench to allow vehicles to enter and exit driveways. After trenching, the area will be either backfilled to grade or covered with a road plate by the end of each workday to allow continued access. The contractor and construction manager will also be able to coordinate emergency access if needed temporarily while the work is taking place. Deliveries of food and goods will be able to continue to be made to all properties. If you have an issue with access in and out of your driveway contact Woodard and Curran’s full-time on-site field representative at (914) 671-4967.
The sewer trench will be filled to grade with compacted gravel each day. Temporary paving of the trench area is anticipated to be completed once or twice per week as the project progresses. Permanent pavement, which will include a wider mill and overlay will take place after the project has been completed in coordination with the regular Town paving schedule.
11. How will construction impact hamlet commerce and parking?
The Town had originally intended to work in the business areas after the peak business periods, scheduling work between 5:00 PM and 1:30 AM. With the unfortunate current situation requiring the closure of all non-essential businesses, this work is now planned to occur between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday in the hamlet business areas. A work zone of approximately 150’ will be disturbed each day and will be restored to grade or covered with road plates daily.
12. What is being done to limit environmental impacts from the project, such as dust and runoff?
Construction must comply with a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) approved by New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP). The plan requires the installation of filters at catch basins and silt fence as needed to limit sediment transport during rain events. The Contractor will also provide dust control through sweeping and spray water operations.
The Sewer Project – Phase II
PHASE II LINKS
9.8.2020 Bedford Phase II Map Plan Report
Guidelines for Abandoning Subsurface
Moving Ahead on Phase II Sewer Project
At its July 28, 2020 meeting, the Town Board took several actions to move ahead on the Phase II sewer project, known as the Bedford Hills-Katonah Phase II Sewer District. By way of background for over 100 years sewers have been considered for those areas in the town in close proximity to the Cross River Reservoir. Proposals to create sewers had been turned down at least four times over a thirty year period until 2017, when the Town Board created the Bedford Hills-Katonah Business Sewer District (Phase I), approved by 94% of the property owners in the district in a referendum in the Spring of 2017. The Phase I district is comprised of what’s known as a non-contiguous district, since not all areas are contiguous to one another.
The district is comprised of areas which had been identified as a priority focus area by the Northern Westchester Watershed Committee (NWCC) for the purposes of protecting New York City’s drinking water in the City’s watershed system. Properties in the district include cesspools and septic systems with a history of failure and highly frequent pumping. In addition to the neighborhood business districts, the Phase I district also includes certain municipal buildings and Bedford Park Apartments in Bedford Hills, Katonah Elementary School and property of St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church in Katonah, these last three sites are known as “upgrade sites” as to which New York City has a legal obligation either to provide upgraded wastewater treatment or, in the alternative, connection to the Town’s sewer system.
The Town began construction on the Phase I sewer system in April, it is scheduled to be completed mid-2021 and it was financed 95% through funds from New York City (through its Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)), Westchester County East of Hudson Water Quality Improvement Program and a grant from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
At the time that the Town embarked on the Phase I project, we explained to the community that it marked the first step in provided sewers for the priority focus area identified by NWCC and that further phases would be required. Phase II marks the next step in the Town’s long term plan. Like the Phase I district, The Phase II district, if approved in a referendum of the property owners in the district anticipated to be held in mid-October, will be a non-contiguous district, like the Phase I district. It would be comprised of single family residential properties in Katonah; 14 properties on Railroad Avenue in Bedford Hills within the light industrial zone; and also in Bedford Hills 54 condominiums on Lake Marie Lane, 16 condominiums at 100 Haines Road and the Garden Homes Apartments also at 100 Haines Road. These parcels on Lake Marie Lane and at 100 Haines Roads are an upgrade site as to which, like their counterparts in the Phase I project, New York City has a legal obligation either to provide upgraded wastewater treatment or, in the alternative, connection to the Town’s sewer system.
Following the same financing structure of Phase I, approximately 98% of the Phase II project costs would be financed by New York City through DEP, Westchester County East of Hudson Water Quality Improvement Program and funds which it is anticipated will remain from the Phase I project.
The Town Board took action as follows:
- Approved a resolution calling a public hearing for 7:00 PM on August 17, 2020 to make a determination under the NYS State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) as to the project’s environmental impact.
- Approved the final 9.8.2020 Map, Plan and Report (MPR) prepared by project engineers Woodard & Curran. The MPR describes the Phase II project, provides a map of the district, describes anticipated financing for the project, provides the estimated annual cost to each parcel in the district in the first year of operation and certain other information.
- Approved a resolution calling a public hearing for 7:05 PM on August 17, 2020, which assuming a negative declaration under SEQRA, would consider adoption of an Order to the effect that establishment of the Phase I district is in the public interest.
This proposed sewer system extension project builds off of the Phase I project, which is currently under construction. Phase II would potentially provide sewer service to three areas:
- The condominiums and apartments at the Bedford Lake complex off Haines Road in Bedford Hills
- 133 to 317 Railroad Avenue in Bedford Hills
- Residential properties in Katonah: 4 to 62 Bedford Road, 57 to 104 Edgemont, 48 to 52 Parkway, 5 to 36 The Terrace, 2 to 4 Valley Edge Road, and 36 to 85 Valley Road.
The project in currently in the planning phase. Next steps are to pursue with New York City an amendment the Town’s Intergovernmental Agreement with the City to provide for City funding for Phase II in the amount of approximately $8.6 million and to pursue with Westchester County an amendment to the Town’s Intermunicipal Agreement with the County to provide approximately $3.4 million for Phase II funding. After that, provide amendments to these agreements for Town Board action, and develop an engineering document describing the proposed project and its cost to the property owners (called a Map, Plan, and Report).
Following public information sessions in the next two months, we will distribute a straw poll to each of the areas within Phase II – Bedford Lake, Katonah Residential and Railroad Avenue. If the Town wishes to proceed, we would schedule a referendum for Fall 2020 to approve creation of a new sewer district and the bond issue. This last step is the deciding step.
Please contact Kevin Winn, Bedford DPW Commissioner, with any questions or concerns:
Town DPW Commissioner