Special Projects

August 13, 2020

About Us

Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. is different from other professional engineering firms. Our deep respect for our clients, community, and colleagues sets us apart.

Our clients are predominantly municipal entities with selected industry in our portfolio as well. We understand that municipal leaders come to government from all walks of life and bring unique perspectives, knowledge and experience that are to be respected and engaged in the process of governing. The functions of government are complex and it is our role to provide facts and guidance to municipal decision-makers to ensure that the best interests of the public are achieved. With respect to industry, we are keenly aware that infrastructure and regulatory compliance are non-core functions that in some cases distract from operating a successful, profitable business. Our role is to handle non-core infrastructure and regulatory functions so that business leaders can focus on core functions.

Our community is as broad as the locations in which we work. From our offices in Albany and Oneonta, our geography spans from New York’s Capital District throughout the upper and lower Hudson River Valley through the Adirondack and North County Region to the Metropolitan Suburban Region north of New York City through the Catskill Region to the State’s Southern Tier. Wherever we are engaged with municipalities or industry, we are engaged with community. We respect the unique character and nature of each community in developing customized solutions to water, wastewater, stormwater, municipal buildings, special projects and economic development challenges. Because we take the time to get to know each community personally, we treat each person and each project with a commitment and passion as though it is our own home town.

Our colleagues are the engine that drives our business. Our professional and technical staff of more than 60 engineers, scientists, planners and technicians are each responsible for the well-being of our clients, our communities, and each other. By encouraging personal connection and responsibility between our staff and their project work, clients benefit from the sincere dedication of our staff to a project’s success. Since the founding of the company in New York’s Delaware River Watershed in 1987, our colleagues continue to be driven by an intense desire to improve the world through everyday successes.

Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. is different from other professional engineering firms in our achievements in supporting communities and industry through access to grants and low cost financing and our community service contributions which we see as a small way to pay our accomplishments forward.

We welcome opportunities to explore new relationships with clients, communities, and colleagues.

Services: Special Projects

Some facilities and land uses are truly unique to a region or a purpose, and as a result, they are relatively uncommon.  Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. engages in special projects often through extensive research followed by planning, permitting, design, bid assistance, and construction supervision.  Examples of special projects include telecommunication towers to support county 911 systems and helipads in remote areas to provide emergency medical service life flights.  While telecommunication towers are ubiquitous and helipads not uncommon in some regions, special considerations relative to the nature of these public benefit facilities and challenging locations, such as the Catskill and Adirondack parks, are met through the talents, knowledge and well-developed relationships Delaware Engineering maintains with federal, state and regional agency representatives.

Town of Thompson

In 2017, the Town of Thompson purchased the former Camp Jened, a 142-acre wooded parcel with a 12-acre pond and various recreational facilities. Intending to develop the site as a community park with unique recreational resources – boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking and riding, with large common buildings that could host large-scale community events – the Town engaged Delaware Engineering to create a long-term plan for the development of the property.

During the course of the engagement, it became clear that the opportunities at Camp Jened should not be considered in a vacuum, but rather as part of the fabric of all of the locally available public parks. As a result, the study expanded to accommodate an assessment of nearby public parks in comparison to national open-space guidelines.

Delaware reviewed all existing information concerning the Camp Jened site, performed a site visit to assess the condition of existing buildings, utilized the results of an online survey of resident opinions concerning recreational needs and desires, created potential Park layouts and led public “visioning” workshops to solicit community input concerning the amenities and features that residents would like to see at the Camp property.

In conjunction with the local Parks Committee, Delaware ultimately provided the Town with a Recreation Development Plan that provides recommendations for improvements and a road map for implementation, including action items for upgrades and maintenance at the existing community parks. The Plan concluded with an initial analysis of project costs and staffing needs for the Camp property.

Town of Thompson

The Town of Thompson, in Sullivan County, has a pattern of growth typical of the southern Catskills: hamlets and villages  with a mix of seasonal and year-round residences and businesses along connecting highway corridors. Over the years, numerous disparate water and sewer districts have been created. As a result, the Town’s water and sewer infrastructure is challenging to manage from  an administrative, capital and O&M perspective. Further, the Town wanted to ensure both that system costs are distributed across the user base in a fair, equitable and fiscally sustainable manner, and that it maximizes the longevity of its infrastructure.

The Town engaged Delaware Engineering to prepare an Infrastructure Master Plan with the following components: a technical analysis of the current conditions and needs of the existing infrastructure; a fiscal analysis of current operating budgets, user rate impact scenarios and modelling to determine equitable user cost distribution; conceptual project development and preliminary cost estimating; and project prioritization. 

The study provided several major recommendations concerning specific district-consolidation opportunities, repairs and upgrades to existing Town treatment plants,  and changes to the current Sewer Rent Code and the assessment of sewer rates within the Town. The study concluded by identifying capital financing opportunities and strategies to fund recommended improvements,  through grant and low-interest loan programs available  in New York State and federally.

Washingtonville

The Village of Washingtonville, in Orange County, engaged Delaware Engineering to prepare a Water and Sewer Infrastructure Master Plan that would provide a framework within which the Village could plan, fund and execute the maintenance of existing infrastructure and extend the useful life of existing equipment, in order to provide safe and adequate water and sewer service to all customers. Further, the Village was committed to ensuring that water and sewer user rates were fair, equitable, and fiscally sustainable for the systems.

By reviewing existing data and information, and performing on-site facility walkthroughs and field work, Delaware Engineering prepared comprehensive evaluations of the water and sewer systems serving the Village, including assessments of groundwater supplies, water treatment and storage, pump stations, compliance with an Order on Consent, and the overall health of the systems.

Based on these findings, Delaware created a set of recommended actions and budgets for each component of the water and sewer systems. Further, Delaware performed a financial analysis of the systems, reviewing their operating budgets, debt schedules, O&M expenses, and current rates structures. Using  projected costs for improvements and annual  maintenance costs, as well as water usage data, Delaware modeled potential rate scenarios and rate-payer impacts, and provided recommendations concerning the basis for formulating water and sewer rents going forward.

The study concluded by identifying capital financing opportunities and strategies to fund recommended improvements,  through grant and low-interest loan programs available  in New York State and federally.

 

City of Oneonta

In the first half of the 1900s, the City of Oneonta was a prime location for feed mills such as the large seven-building structure founded by the West and Nesbitt families in 1925. Until the 1960s, the Market Street feed mill thrived as a supplier to large New England poultry farms, but with a decline in both farming and railroad service through Oneonta, the mill languished, then shuttered for good in 1996. The owners had been unable to sell the site with the aging buildings due to the prohibitively high costs, for a private owner, of demolition. The City acquired the property through foreclosure in 2001 and obtained $600,000 from New York State for the demolition and remediation.

Delaware Engineering assisted the City by performing a building assessment followed by a full Phase I Environmental Site Assessment in connection with the property.  Engineers at Delaware developed plans, specifications and bid documents for the demolition of the feed mill, including all necessary asbestos and lead paint abatement, hazardous material and debris removal, and site restoration and regrading. The plans included pre-bid cost estimates and a schedule for the demolition.

Delaware assisted the City with pre-bid meetings, bid evaluation, recommendation of award, and all construction-phase services, including oversight of the demolition work, review/approval of submittals, and regular communication between the City and the contractor.

Demolition and site restoration were completed in 2003, and a new performing arts facility was constructed on the site, opening its doors in 2005.

Town of Amsterdam

Historically, the Amsterdam area was the home of numerous mills engaged in the manufacture of products from carpets to clothing to lumber and oils. Many mills were located on waterways in order to harness waterpower to drive their machinery.

For several years, the Town of Amsterdam had been concerned about the hazardous conditions and potential contamination at the old Pioneer Street Mill. The former textile mill, located in a residential area on the banks of the Chuctanunda Creek, had been constructed in 1871, but had been abandoned by the early 2000s. By late 2008, the approximately 29,000 square foot building was in a severe state of deterioration and  in danger of collapse. Limited sampling showed the presence of friable asbestos-containing materials. Further, it was known that the building contained drums full of unknown waste materials that could threaten the safety of neighbors and the health of the creek.

The Town engaged Delaware Engineering to study the facility and to pursue available funding options for building demolition, site remediation and potential reuse. Delaware researched the history of the facility and prepared a successful grant application that resulted in the Town being awarded 90% of the costs to investigate and remediate the hazardous contamination on the site, and 50% of the cost of demolition and site restoration. The Town then retained Delaware to provide grant administration and the professional engineering and planning services for this project, including bid documents, bid assistance, and construction-phase activities, including inspection and oversight. Lastly, Delaware provided soil clean-up and soil gas sampling at the conclusion.

City of Beacon

Once a gritty manufacturing center, the historic City of Beacon is experiencing an artistic and economic renaissance, thanks in large part to the forward thinking and planning by City leaders. To ensure that Beacon’s public assets and infrastructure will continue to support future growth and development, the City collaborated with Delaware Engineering and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to develop an Asset Management Plan. The effort is intended to assist the City in maintaining infrastructure and public assets in a condition suitable to meet the needs of the public at a reasonable cost. The products of this effort are an Excel database Tool, a User Manual and an Asset Management and Capital Planning Guide.

Because an asset inventory is the essential foundation of management and planning, Delaware began by reviewing existing City plans and documents, and gathering and managing data regarding the nature, location and condition of various assets of the City. Available data was gathered from multiple existing sources such as DOT records and City insurance lists. Delaware also performed site visits to assess the condition of City water and wastewater treatment plants and buildings.

Delaware ultimately created the Asset Management and Capital Planning Tool, an inventory of the City’s major assets in one database. The City will be able to use this Tool to prioritize investments in major repairs or replacements, to estimate costs, and to evaluate financing alternatives to allow for sound planning and implementation. The database data can be tied to, and worked with, in a GIS system, enabling the City to generate lists of assets of interest and then to visualize these spatially in GIS.

The Tool includes a worksheet for basic project cost analysis and comparison, and is a resource for, not a substitute for, management decision making. The User Manual is a guide for the use and updating of the Tool as the City repairs, replaces and inventories its assets. The Guide provides an overall asset management and capital planning framework to assist the City in integrating asset management thought processes into daily operations and long-term planning.

 

City of Amsterdam

As with many cities, the City of Amsterdam in Montgomery County, New York owns and operates an extensive and aging system of water and sewer infrastructure that serves not only properties within the City limits, but also lands within water and sewer districts in the adjacent Town of Amsterdam. Additionally, as with many cities in upstate New York and their  surrounding suburban areas, the City suffers from disinvestment while the adjacent suburban towns thrive. While the economic activity is located within the towns, the towns rely on the City to provide robust water and sewer services. Over the years, the City and Town of  Amsterdam struggled with the costs and provision of services. The City’s need for financial support resulted in annual increases in water rates to the surrounding towns. Meanwhile, the surrounding towns were competing for economic investment, and the uncertainty of water rates was hampering development in the towns. 

To that end, Delaware Engineering, as the Town of Amsterdam’s engineering consultant, was tasked with evaluating the situation and developing a durable solution that provides the City with revenue while stabilizing water rates in the Town. Delaware Engineering evaluated the financial status of both entities and developed an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) for Water Service and a companion Intermunicipal Agreement for Revenue Sharing.  The IMA for Revenue Sharing provides for a sub-redistribution of sales tax from the Town to the City under conditions that do not impact the Town’s finances, yet provide the City with necessary revenue in exchange for stable water rates in the Town. The end result is a long term partnership of investment in the water infrastructure on which both the City and Town depend.

Schoharie County

Overall Cost
$450,000

Delaware Engineering worked closely with the Schoharie County Office of Emergency Services to complete a design for the replacement of the radio communication tower. The new tower stands at 180 ft tall with a 12 ft x 32 ft equipment shelter. The project was funded with a grant through the New York State Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Services as part of their statewide Interoperable Communications Grant Program.

 

Fleischmanns

Overall Cost
$543,810

Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. provided planning, design, and construction administration services for the project to make improvements to the Village’s Public Park that was flooded in 2011.  The project included installing a new Snack Shack and Bathroom Facilities that are now flood proof. The new building has removable flood doors that will protect the building during flood events. The project was paid for thru FEMA; the total project cost was $543,810 with Engineering.