Page 4 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • December 16, 2009 Glen Rock land becomes fulcrum for sewage revenue by John Koster The Ridgewood Village Council last week adopted a plan to increase Ridgewood revenue by about $100,000 a year through accepting truckloads of liquid sewage from outside the area for treatment at a plant owned by Ridgewood but located within the boundaries of Glen Rock. No one from Glen Rock spoke at the Ridgewood Council meeting, though administration members told citizens Boyd Loving and Roger Wiegand, two regular attendees at Ridgewood’s meetings, that Glen Rock had been informed of the village’s proposal. Ridgewood Village Clerk Heather Mailander said the plans had been discussed in some detail at a work session over the summer, which seemed to satisfy Loving’s curiosity about why he had not heard more about the plans. Loving praised the courtesy and cooperation he had received both from Mailander and from Village Manager Kenneth Gabbert in responding to a detailed letter he sent, but wanted some minor clarification. He said he was somewhat surprised that no one from Glen Rock showed up at the Ridgewood meeting, since the sewage plant is located inside Glen Rock, though Ridgewood holds title. The council voted unanimously and adopted the plans in the form of an ordinance after Village Engineer Christopher Rutishauser answered questions from Loving, Wiegand, and the council. Based on the information discussed at the meeting and the text of the adopted ordinance, the sewage plant is now allowed to accept outside sewage from private or local collectors – nicknamed “honeydippers” -- who remove the sludge from septic tanks and bring it to Glen Rock by truck. The maximum permissible amount is 150,000 gallons a week, but the scheduling suggests a maximum of three trucks a day, which at a capacity of 3,000 gallons per truck, would come to less than half that amount. “The numbers just don’t add up for me,” Wiegand said. “We don’t expect to be overwhelming by trucks at this point because we’re putting ourselves just a little bit above the market,” Rutishauser said. He expected that Ridgewood would attract private septic disposal customers more by the convenience of not having to drive to Newark than by low pricing. Answering a question from Wiegand, Rutishauser said that he expected to make about $150,000 gross profit on the program per year once it was up and running, for a net profit of about $100,000. The plant is manned 24 hours a day, but the outside sewage would be accepted only from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Rutishauser said there had been no recent odor complaints about the operation of the plant and he did not expect there would be any in the future. “Since the upgrade, I don’t believe we have received a single odor complaint,” Rutishauser said. “We’re not going to stink up the air with this program.” He also said that each truck using the plant had to register, and to fill out paperwork for each load dropped off at the site. “If somebody drops a bad load, we have the tracking capacity and we will go after them,” Rutishauser said. Deputy Mayor Keith Killion said Ridgewood would not allow neighborhood life or traffic to be disrupted by emergency drop-offs, which would use Ridgewood streets to reach the Glen Rock location near the border. “We reserve the right (to reject drop-offs),” Killion said. “You may have an emergency, but we don’t have to accept it.” “It’s certainly not our intent at all to negatively impact anybody’s quality of life,” Mayor David Pfund told Loving and Wiegand. Wiegand liked the added revenue. “I think it is a good thing as long as we keep an eye on it,” he said. In other business, the council increased the sewer hookup fee for new construction outside Ridgewood from $3,600 to $5,000 per unit. Rutishauser said several hundred units in Glen Rock, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, and Washington Township already connect to Ridgewood for treatment. The increase will affect 70 units slated for construction in Washington Township. 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