Joint sewage board proposes clerical, financial changes

By Michelle Costanza

March 11, 2013 Updated Mar 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Joint Sewage Treatment Plant could be making some changes to its inter-municipal agreement with the hopes of keeping better track of taxpayer money.

A meeting was held Monday night to smooth out legislative discrepancies and review legal processes that govern the group that runs one of the most critical structures in Broome County.

The original agreement between the city of Binghamton and the village of Johnson City was drafted in 1965. Trustees and council members say updates are needed to keep the document up to date, as well as improve the overall functionality of the sewage treatment plant.

One of the proposed changes would be to adopt a streamlined approach to approve and pay small and recurring bills.

Authorizing one or two people to perform this task would simplify, the process and achieve a better financial flow, board members said.

"There's quite a lot of paperwork, to get from one point to another, and it really takes the contractors who are waiting for their money past when they're agreed to be paid. ," said Johnson City Trustee Bruce King.

The board says it would be much quicker to process claims for things like electric and phone bills, instead of waiting for the entire board to authorize a payment.

To assist with project oversight, the board is considering the addition of a "clerk of the works," who would help monitor paperwork for plant upgrades, flood wall repair and legal issues.

"There's complications and if you don't have one person who's solely responsible to track all the documents, make multiple copies, send them to the right place, then things get lost. We can't be pulling the superintendent and business manager away from their jobs for this, it's just too much," added King.

If approved, the board hopes to fill the position by this summer.