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A new Village of Castile sewage treatment plant also would have the capability of converting human waste and cow manure into energy, if trustees give the go-ahead.

The village was directed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation last year to prevent human waste from continuing to flow from the village into Wolf Creek, which runs through Letchworth State Park.

Residents in December voted 243-75 to create a villagewide sewer system.

AnAerobics, based in Freeville, has designed the new plant, which village leaders hope to pay for with state or federal money.

"They are providing us with the technical advice on the sewage treatment plant," said Mayor Frederick Goodell. "We have to decide to go with a conventional treatment plant or anaerobic treatment system."

He said village leaders are trying to determine how much a plant would cost, hoping that such a system would cost residents $1 per day.

"We have committed ourselves to that, but we see it as very attainable," Goodell said.

The anaerobic process would take either human waste, or cow waste from nearby farms, and turn it into methane gas to power a generator that makes electricity.

However, Trustee Christopher Carney cautioned that the village needs to be primarily concerned about building a system that deals with sewage treatment before dealing with issues such as co-generation. Carney said he also wants to see more figures regarding the costs of co-generation before making any decision.

"It has to be in the taxpayers' interest to do this," Carney said. "My concern is we have got to get a sewer system up and running."

He said co-generation equipment can be added to the facility two to 10 years after a plant is built.

"We do not have to commit to the production of power," Carney said.

Goodell said trustees have been kept updated about the sewage issue.

"We've done this as a collective unit," Goodell said of the Village Board. "If not everyone knows what is going on, it is very difficult."

Goodell said the village must show progress toward construction of a villagewide system or the state DEC will mandate when the system will need to be built.

"We're moving along because we have to move along," Goodell said.

A move to co-generation at a possible sewage plant would need to be approved by the board and not by residents through referendum.

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