Watervliet moves ahead on infrastructure plan

WATERVLIET — Watervliet is on its way to creating a plan for its future. 

The Watervliet City Commission unanimously approved at a special meeting Tuesday night to move forward with putting together a citywide asset management plan (AMP) to map out a systematic upgrade to the city’s infrastructure.

The engineering firm Wightman will put the plan together at a cost of $180,000. 

The AMP would include strategic repair and maintenance of some inflow and infiltration problems and include plans on how to fix roads, drains and pipes across the city.

Last year, Wightman finished assessments of the city’s stormwater, wastewater and water systems through a SAW grant. That information will also go into the AMP. 

With the citywide AMP is the potential to seek and secure a $3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan to address the city’s inflow and infiltration problems and make other improvements. 

“The hope is to use all that information to come together to help us move forward in planning and preparing a budget that reflects our needs that’s tactical in our approach,” City Manager Tyler Dotson said Wednesday. “The USDA loan may come from that, but right now the goal is just to put together the plan. We think at the end of it, there’ll be the loan.”

Alan Smaka, with Wightman, told the City Commission earlier this month that the loan is probably the best way for the city to pay for the upgrades. He said Wightman has never had a grant through the USDA be turned down. 

“All the commissioners and myself are excited about the asset management plan,” Dotson said. “We’re really encouraged in addressing operations, infrastructure and the way we budget. It’ll be a tool to use for several years to come.”

In other business, the City Commission approved changing its regular monthly meetings to the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. because a commissioner had a conflict with the second Tuesday. Committee of the Whole meetings would still be scheduled as needed at each regular commission meeting, Dotson said.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman