Watertown Looks To Biomass Plant For Help With Tree Debris

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Mike Lumbis, who manages Watertown's street tree program, knew he had to do something after seeing the mess caused by December's ice storm.

Right now the city puts its tree debris into its quarry on Route 11, but he says that is getting expensive.

"For the past several years, we've had to spend anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 per year to grind up the brush and material that we pick up," said Lumbis.

There may be a more affordable option on the way.

Lumbis is trying to work out a deal with ReEnergy Black River, the biomass facility on Fort Drum that burns wood and makes electricity. 

Under the proposal, ReEnergy Black River would pick up the wood, process it and take it to its facility for free.

ReEnergy says it's on board but it still needs to finalize a plan with the city and then get it approved by Watertown City Council. 

"What we would need is about 300 to 350 tons of material accumulated in order for it to be worthwhile to bring the crew there to process it," said Tony Marciniak, facility manager.
 
ReEnergy Black River says it would also like to work with other municipalities.

On Tuesday there will be a meeting with highway superintendents across the county to discuss the idea.

Saturday, August 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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