After devastating flooding in August 2014, the Administration committed to flood mitigation projects in neighborhoods most impacted by the flooding. The Water Department identified and advanced two major Beaver Creek Overflow Abatement & Flood Mitigation projects. In 2016, construction of the $2.0 million Hansen/Ryckman project was substantially completed. This project will collect the first three inches of rainfall and store over one million gallons of separated storm runoff, mitigating peak combined sewer follow and neighborhood flooding. In 2016, the second major project on Elberon Place was designed and partially constructed under emergency conditions on South Lake Avenue. The remainder of the $2.4 million Elberon Place project will be constructed in 2017. The Albany Water Board received a $1.0 million NYSDEC grant and a $450,000 million NYSEFC grant for these projects. The Water Board was also the recipient of an $837,500 Round 2 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act grant in 2016.
The Quail Street Green Infrastructure project was completed, separating sanitary and combined sewers and providing detention to reduce peak storm water discharges from this corridor. This Green Infrastructure demonstration project received a $1.8 million dollar grant from the NYSEFC. The Quail Street project was the recipient of the Capital Branch of the American Public Works Association’s Project of the Year in the Environmental category.
The Tivoli Lake Preserve Patroon Creek Daylighting Project received a $1.1 million grant from NYSEFC and a $1 million grant from NYSDEC.
The Upper Washington Avenue Corridor Infrastructure Improvements were advanced. The Harriman Sewage Pump Station and Force Main design is 75% complete. The Albany Water Board has a $1.9 million grant from Empire State Development Corporation for this project. The Albany Municipal Water Finance Authority will be applying for funding of $6.7 million through the Environmental Facilities Corporation in 2017.
The Sewer SCADA Phase I project was completed, establishing the central computer interface and first three remote monitoring sites. A NYSDEC grant of $50,000 was received to be used for monitoring of the combined sewage overflows.
The Water Department began establishing priorities for revitalizing our sewer and water infrastructure through the creation of an Asset Management Plan. One of the outcomes of this program is to identify vulnerable sewer lines for lining and in 2016, we lined over 5,000 feet of mainline sewer.
In 2016, the Department updated our billing software and initiated cellular meter reads for our 36 largest customers.
The challenges of aging infrastructure are well documented and the City has witnessed the consequences of these challenges. In 2016, the Water Department continued to recruit talented staff with exceptional skillsets. While the ability to recruit and retain staff has become difficult nationally in the municipal government sector, the Department has hired talented staff that are key to assisting in the day to day operations as well as meeting the vision of revitalizing our infrastructure.