HERKIMER, N.Y. – The proposed East Herkimer sewer district project has received the go-ahead from Herkimer’s village board, but board members want to discuss some details, including hookup fees, with the town of Herkimer.

Officials said the village has made some expensive upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant and said customers in the new district should pay more than the standard hookup fee.

Jeff Trzeciak, senior project manager with the Prime AE Group of NY, was on hand at Monday’s village board meeting to present plans for the district, which would include Valley Residential Services on Pine Grove Road and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Tioga Construction, the Herkimer BOCES Educational Complex, ELG Utica Alloys, Tioga Construction and the Herkimer Distribution Center, all on Gros Boulevard.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.681 million, he said. The town was awarded a $440,000 state grant and a $500,000 Northern Borders Regional Commission grant to bring the net project cost to be borne by the district down to $1,741,000. The annual debt service would total $123,611. That amount, divided among 78 sewer units, would come to an annual debt service of $1,584.76 per year for each unit.

The owners would also pay the village’s hookup fee of $2,100 for customers outside the village as well as operation and maintenance fees, Trzeciak said.

Mayor Mark Netti asked what would happen if residents in the area wanted to tie into the line. Trzeciak said that could happen and the 10-inch pipe should be able to handle the increased volume.

Village Water and Sewer Superintendent Scott Blais said he expects all of the homes in that area will eventually be on the village sewer system.

The village recently installed a chlorine disinfection system, Village Superintendent Jim Franco said. The liquid chlorine system treats the water being discharged from the wastewater treatment plant into the Mohawk River.

The recent upgrades cost $2 million, Blais said.

"Somebody has to sit down and come up with some figures," said Franco, adding that the village has to maintain the system, "and the building itself needs an upgrade."

"Some of the revenue could be used for those upgrades," Trzeciak said. He suggested the village and town enter into an agreement regarding the fees.

"I’d like to see the district move forward," said Netti. "It’s something for future expansion for the whole area."

The board voted to approve the project, but plan to discuss the fee schedule with the town.

If the project goes forward, the properties would be connected to a new gravity sewer connection that flows to a pump station on the south side of Route 5, north of the Lowe’s store, according to the description in the engineering map, plan and report. The waste would then be pumped by a force main under the West Canada Creek and into an existing manhole on East Albany Street to connect to the village sewer system.