Construction to upgrade the Valley's joint sewer plant remains under way, plant superintendent Craig Allis told members of the Valley Joint Sewer Authority Wednesday.

Contractors have finished pouring concrete for the basin that will contain the plant's sequencing batch reactor, Allis said at Wednesday's board meeting. Contractors are awaiting the results of a strength test and also must perform a water test to make sure the basin can properly retain water, he said. The SBR equipment will be installed after the basin passes both tests.

Other plant buildings and fixtures have also been installed, including a centrifuge and sludge pad building, Allis said.

The plant must meet state Department of Environmental Protection limits on the amount of nutrients to be release into the Susquehanna River by October 2013.

Project manager Jared Hockenberry of CET Engineering may attend January's board meeting with a revised construction schedule, said authority chairman Dr. Pat Musto.

Mark Lundquist, the authority's financial advisor, is also expected to have numbers available in January for a refinancing of the funds borrowed by the authority's four member municipalities to construct the $17 million plant upgrade, Musto said.

Lundquist has renegotiated the loans' interest rates, which will save the municipalities - Sayre, South Waverly and Athens boroughs and Athens Township - "hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest," Musto said.

The authority Wednesday also approved a payment requisition for the plant upgrade in the amount of $1,202,264.15.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.