Edinburg resolves water treatment plant issues

EDINBURG – Mayor Dan Harshman gave the all-clear on the town’s ongoing problems with its water treatment facility Tuesday.

“Right now, it seems that the problems at the water treatment plant are corrected and everything’s running. At least, last time I heard,” Harshman said.

Edinburg’s water treatment plant is “an ongoing pain in the butt,” Harshman said. The plant has become more work than the town anticipated when it launched in 1998, he said, partially because of increasing health department regulations and partially because of “finicky” components within the membrane microfiltration system.

At some point in the future, Harshman said, he imagines Edinburg will give up its autonomy and connect its system to Woodstock’s water treatment plant.

“We have two options before us. Either to upgrade our wastewater treatment plant, and basically we would just be upgrading it to meet the new requirements. We would not be upgrading it for capacity or anything like that, and it’d cost us $4 million,” Harshman said. “Well, for $4 million, we could go down the road and go to the county and put a line in, and they have all kinds of capacity. You know, and if the Town of Edinburg needs more capacity, well we pay them more money. That’s all it would be.”

Also on Tuesday, the council discussed their upcoming application for a community development block grant to reinvigorate the community with 8,000 feet of newly constructed sidewalk, a mural of historical Edinburg on a concrete wall on Stony Creek Boulevard that Harshman envisions as a “selfie spot,” and improved facades on buildings in portions of Edinburg that have not aged well.

The town lost its bid for a grant in March, but the council is taking in feedback from the state committee to better Edinburg’s chances of winning in March 2018.

“We’re just tweaking the (proposal) we did. You know, we’re not starting all over again, so we don’t have near as much work,” Harshman said.

One major issue the state committee had with Edinburg’s proposal was the physical area the town hoped to revitalize.

“One of the issues they have is our area for the grant, they felt it was too large,” Harshman said. “I told them, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, you know, you can walk the thing in five minutes.’ But the fact that the buildings we’re trying to address were sort of spread out on some of the side streets, so we ended up with this kind of an odd configuration. It was contiguous, but it just kind of goes off here and there.

“We’re talking about not even a city block of space that just happens to be kind of a strange shape.”

The council also discussed the town’s Christmas festivities on Dec. 5. Harshman said the parade, tree lighting and children’s Christmas party were all “well-attended.” The town distributed gifts to around 200 kids and served 240 hot dogs, though Harshman said the town “could have done more if we’d have had them.”

The event cost $800 in total and received $600 in donations, with the Edinburg Heritage Foundation covering the difference.