Some 40 residents and town officials were on hand April 11 for a ceremonial ribbon cutting at New Milford's Water Pollution Control Authority site on West Street.

The sewer plant's $22 million expansion was completed in March. About $6 million was saved through federal stimulus funding, with a low-interest loan through the state realizing further savings for the town, said Sewer Commission chairman Frank Bidetti.

"I'm happy to see the project come to completion," Mr. Bidetti said. "We came in under budget and ahead of schedule. This is absolutely a plus for business development in town."

The expansion was "35 years in the making," said Tom Pilla, a former longtime member of the Sewer Commission. "This is a small site with a lot of density to it."

"Past Sewer Commission chairmen Bill Johnson and John Heaton, as well as current chairman Frank Bidetti, did an outstanding job," he added.

Bruce Miller, senior project manager for Carlin Construction of Waterford, the project's contractor, was on site last week.

"The plans had to meet effluent requirements set by the DEP," Mr. Miller explained. "It was CDM Smith's job to select and size the equipment to meet those requirements. Ours was to create, install and test the equipment."

He added the final test results were "all positive."

Mayor Pat Murphy lauded Sewer Commission members, plant supervisor Ken Bailey and everyone involved with the project.

"It is a huge benefit to the community," Mayor Murphy said. "It brought an upgrade to a facility that was working but not able to meet capacity requirements."

"Now we can serve the community while protecting the resources of the Housatonic River," the mayor said, "and the aquifer that much of our business property is over."

Tom Esposito of the town's Economic Development Commission and Town Council, sees the expansion as "a win-win for the town and region."

"This gives us options to assist in the future build out of commercial space along Route 7," Mr. Esposito said. "It's a perfect marriage between laying the groundwork for future economic development and preserving the environment and beautiful Housatonic River."

New upgrades to the facility include a UV distribution tank that kills pathogens through disinfection by UV light rays.

It also features a new Biofilter that "collects odiforous air from the plant and treats it with biologicals to clear the air," explained John Chudzik, project representative for CDM Smith.

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