The Valley Joint Sewer Authority board Wednesday voted to adopt a resolution extending the sewer plant's completion deadline with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The resolution gives the authority until July 30, 2014 to complete $17 million in upgrades to the joint sewer plant in Athens Borough, said authority chair Pat Musto. Construction officials expect the upgrades to be complete by June 2014, but the DEP gave the authority an additional 30 days to meet the deadline, Musto said.

The upgrades, necessary to meet DEP regulations limiting the amount of nutrients to be released into the Susquehanna River, were originally expected to be substantially completed this May, with a Sept. 2012 deadline for all influent wastewater treatment work. Damage from the Sept. 2011 flood, manufacturing and financing delays and problematic site conditions impeded officials from meeting the original deadline.

Construction leaders provided the authority with a new construction schedule last month. The first phase of the project, including the installation of three sequencing batch reactor tanks, is expected to be complete in late August.

Since the new construction schedule went into effect, Musto said it appears that contractors will easily meet the new deadline. Digging for the tanks is complete, and concrete has been poured and tested.

"Things seem to be moving in a right direction," he said.

Authority members will meet at the plant next month to tour the work that has been completed. Much of the equipment should be installed by the July 10 meeting, said plant superintendent Craig Allis.

The board also voted to authorize Allis to purchase an electric hoist for the plant's ultraviolet building at a cost of $1,586. The hoist would make it easier to lift heavy equipment in that room, Allis said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: