NEW WINDSOR — Plans for a new middle school here cannot move forward until the town increases its sewer capacity.
The Atlee Avenue lagoon, where town sewage is treated in two ponds, can process 49,000 gallons per day.
It presently treats an average 36,000 gallons a day.
Officialssaid the reserve could handle the new school's population of 650 students and staff.
Once the new middle school is complete in 1995, officials plan to house 500 students from Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary inthe old building, while renovating and expanding the elementary in Union Bridge.
Adding those 500 students to the system could push the lagoon to capacity, making it inadequate for the town of 842 people.
The state, which will not permit construction without adequate facilities, said the town must increase capacity to 94,000 gallons a day.
It will not permit an increase in the lagoon's capacity without im
provements, said Robert A. "Max" Bair, executive assistant tothe commissioners.
Town, county and school board officials met here Friday to resolve the problem.
"We have no problem adding the new school to the town system," said Vernon Smith, director of School Support Services. "The additional students housed here during Elmer Wolfe's renovations would strain the system."
Mel Schneider, a developer and co-owner of the New Windsor Partnership, offered officials a possible solution.
Schneider's plans to build about 120 homes here also have been stymied until the lagoon is improved.
"I have a vested interest in increasing the lagoon's capacity," he said. "I can't build without it."
Schneider has met with state officials, who reviewed his plans to install eight new aerators and wiring and to increase the electrical power.
He estimated the job would cost about$100,000.
"They have told me to turn in my plans for the upgrades," he said. "The state will allow the increased flow, depending on how well the equipment works."
He said he wants to install the equipment within the next two months, before the cold weather arrives.
"Once this new system is in operation the quality of the lagoon should increase dramatically," he said.
Bair said the county might be able to offer the town a low-interest loan to pay for the project.
Payments for new hookups into the upgraded system could repay the loan.
Mayor James C. Carlisle said he wanted to pin down the actual cost of the project before seeking a loan from the county.