Project possibilities discussed in Fredonia board meeting

Plans for a new energy performance project aimed at improving the Fredonia waste water treatment plant were discussed during Monday evening’s Village Board workshop.

Gerald Summe and Dominic Insinna, representatives from Wendel Energy Services LLC in Buffalo, attended the meeting to present their company’s audit findings for the project. The Board approved the audit agreement with Wendel in a meeting last September.

“We studied many measures that are not on here, but we studied all the measures assigned by the village in the study,” Summe said. “We came back and presented to a committee of the village, and this audit covers everything that was selected by the village’s committee.”

Several improvement measures discussed in Wendel’s audit included upgrades to the treatment plant’s return sludge pumps, solids dewatering system and sludge thickening system. Changes to lighting and heating equipment were also included in the recommendations for the potential project.

“We walked the plant,” Board member Phyllis Jones said during the meeting. “It does need improvement.”

Betsy Sly, chief operator of the treatment plant, recommended the measures that should take precedence. Her top choices included automation of the dissolved oxygen control system and upgrades to the aeration blower within the facility, as well as improvements to the bar screens, which remove large objects from the water.

Also included in the audit was improvements in the generator system within the municipal buildings.

“Basically, the village’s generator would be relocated to the fire hall, and we would install a new generator in the village hall,” Insinna said.

“We have a generator that keeps the police station in-tact during a power shortage,” Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe said. “The rest of the building has nothing…We could have frozen lines during a blizzard, and major problems. That’s why it’s on the table.”

The project would potentially cost about $2.7 million over the next 15 years. According to the audit, once all measures are completed, the village would save about $200,000 per year on average. This includes electrical, operational, and maintenance savings, all of which were guaranteed by Summe and Insinna during the meeting.

In order for the project to move forward, the Board would have to pass a resolution to sign a project development agreement with Wendel.

“The next step would be the design phase,” Insinna said. “We would work with Betsy as far as design documents and equipment. At the same time we would update the contract documents for the energy performance contract.”

During the special meeting, the board also passed a resolution to cancel its next regular meeting, which was to be held on May 28.

Comments on this story may be sent to