ADAMS -- A long planned project to replace two of the town's oldest waterlines, running along Route 8, will be the most expensive warrant item going before the May 15 annual Fire District meeting.
The replacement of the waterlines, which date back to the 1800s, was one of several big-ticket warrant articles for fiscal 2013 the Prudential Committee rounded out during a meeting Thursday afternoon.
The proposed project comes at a cost of $1.99 million and will be funded by a low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA].
Committee Chairman Richard Tarsa said the USDA assessed the plan as a "cost efficient and cost saving way forward."
"For as long as the district has had a master plan, we've tried to address and upgrade these lines, but it's always ended up on hold because of more urgent needs," Tarsa said. "The project itself is an infrastructure and water system improvement from the north end at Commercial Street and Prospect Street to the southern Adams line."
Committee Treasurer Richard Kleiner said the agreement with USDA contains a stipulation that the interest rate not raise above three percent.
According to Tarsa, if the article is approved, engineering for the project would begin during the coming winter, but workers would not break ground before the latter half of 2013.
Tarsa also responded to an inquiry about potential water rate increases from resident Jeffrey Lefebvre, saying that due to the Route 8 project and because rates have been constant since 2009, residents could expect to see a raise within the year.
"At this time I can't say what exactly it will amount to, but it's not going to be astronomical," Tarsa said.
The current rate is $2.90 per 1,000 gallons.
Fire Chief Paul Goyette saw a warrant article approved for the appropriation of $160,000 for a long-overdue replacement of the Alert Hose Company's 1948 Chevrolet air truck with a new vehicle.
In previous meetings, Goyette had indicated a cost of $180,000, but the committee asked him to shave down the figure closer to $125,000. Previous requests for replacement of the same vehicle had reached upwards of $300,000.
"Hopefully we can meet in the middle here at $160,000," Goyette said. "It's what this department needs; it's what the community needs. And I don't think a lower cost would be feasible. It provides for a functional, long-term vehicle."
A $22,000 warrant article was also added for a 2012 Chevrolet Colorado extended cab pickup truck for the department.
The next Prudential Committee Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 22.
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