NAUGATUCK — The increased costs of negotiating with Veolia, the company that runs the borough’s wastewater treatment plant, and complying with new state mandates for phosphorus discharge has led the Water Pollution Control Authority to ask for about $278,000 more in next year’s budget.
The requested increase is the largest among a group of departments that fall under the umbrella of public works.
The authority expects to spend $75,000 more in legal fees next year as it negotiates with Veolia over the distribution of revenue from the treatment plant at 500 Cherry St. Officials from the borough and Middlebury have taken the position that the company owes the municipalities a larger share of the facility’s revenues, said James Stewart, director of public works.
Stewart said he did not know how much the borough believes it is owed, based on its contract with Veolia.
“They’d say nothing,” Stewart said. “We’d say substantial amounts.”
Negotiations on the matter started more than a year ago, he said, but next year’s increase was requested in anticipation of “more intense discussions,” Stewart said. Middlebury will be responsible for an as-yet-undetermined portion of the cost, Stewart said.
Attorneys Edward “Ned” Fitzpatrick and N. Warren “Pete” Hess III, who are handling negotiations for the borough, did not return calls Friday seeking comment.
The board will also need to allocate an increase of more than $17,000 in fees for consultants who will help the plant comply with new state and federal limits on phosphorus discharge, Stewart said.
Sheila Baummer, the borough’s solid waste and recycling coordinator, said the amount of trash the borough collects has decreased as automated, single-stream recycling expands. That contributed to a decrease of nearly $23,000 in the sanitation budget, although municipalities will not receive recycling rebates this year from the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority because the quasi-public agency had no surplus to distribute.
The borough got a rebate of nearly $8,000 from the agency last year. It will spend $17,500 on recycling efforts next year, including operating the Recycling Center, special cans for the Town Green and education, Baummer said.
The closing this summer of the dilapidated Hop Brook Pool led to a small drop in the park and recreation budget. The department will ask for money for a new pool, which could cost $750,000, later this month in a budget presentation, Stewart said.
“I’m not very hopeful,” he said. “I don’t expect the money.”
The borough has fallen far behind on road paving, and in lean economic times the public works department has not been given the money to catch up, Stewart said.
“That’s where the biggest cut is,” he said.