Wastewater overhaul plan taking shape in Wilson

Benjamin Joe, Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
·2 min read

Feb. 16—WILSON — The site of the village's new wastewater pump station is "pretty much set," Mayor Art Lawson says.

The pump station is key to the village's plan to transport local wastewater to neighboring Newfane for treatment. The proposal was awarded $4.6 million by the state, through the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI), this past September.

The REDI fund was established to help lakeside municipalities finance lake flood prevention and mitigation measures.

Wilson's wastewater treatment plant, which was constructed in the 1960s, is dealing with an overload of sewage. Shutting it down and contracting with another municipality for treatment is a risk mitigation measure, according to Lawson.

"Since 2017 with the higher waters, the cost of operating that plant has gone up 11%," Lawson said. "And, we're 19% over capacity when it (comes to) handling solids today. Back in the '60s it was designed for 485 households, and we're 19% above capacity under normal operating procedures today. That's a risk."

The village is eyeing property at Ontario and Sunset streets to host the wastewater pump station. It's not far from the existing treatment plant.

"The reason why is because of all the policies governing a pump station and its proximity of the wetlands," Lawson said, "and then there's the cost it would take to put the pump station somewhere else. It's just far more than the REDI grant would allow."

Lawson said that originally he thought the pump station should be at Kruger Park, but the required redesign of the village's gravity sewer system would add $1 million to the project cost.

The pump station at Ontario and Sunset will be "very pleasing" aesthetically, Lawson said. "It's going to really let people know the highlight of our harbor."

Proposed remediation of the treatment plant property, 109 Ontario St., is the subject of a 7 p.m. Thursday remote public hearing; get the link on the village website or its Facebook page.

"That harbor peninsula is in the ideal position for a proposed bike path connecting both Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor," Lawson said. "When you connect both harbors you're connecting 70% of the REDI grant money awarded to Niagara County. That's exactly what this money was designed to do, to create economic development initiatives and that's exactly what it can do for us."