By Meghan Foley
North Adams Transcript
WILLIAMSTOWN -- A $2 million project to upgrade sections of the Hoosac Water Quality District wastewater treatment plant and composting facility is moving forward.
Elaine Neely, a member of the district’s commission, said Thursday that the project includes everything that wasn’t done as part of the earlier $6.1 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant. That upgrade, which was completed in 2008, was mandated by a consent decree from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
"We didn’t want to be doing about 15 different projects over the next few years because they’ll all pretty expensive," Neely said.
It made the most sense to do them all at once and bond them out together, she said. The bond will be paid back over a period of 20 years, she said.
The first year’s payment on the bond is about $173,000, and will be offset by about $30,000 in revenue that is expected to come in from taking sludge from Bennington, Vt., she said. The district’s member towns of North Adams and Williamstown will be responsible for the remaining $143,000, paying 55.98 percent and 44.02 percent, respectively, of the amount.
The project was approved at the Hoosac Water Quality District Commission meeting in May.
Neely said the district is pursuing the upgrade on its own, and as
"The sludge handling process we use with wood chips was put together about 25 years ago. It was on of those things of ‘lets try it and see if it works.’ It works, and has saved us money, but was done on a very cheap basis. Now, the buildings are falling down," she said.
Bradley Furlon, chief operator of the wastewater treatment plant, said Tuesday that the projects will be designed in the fall, and won’t go out to bid until the spring of 2013.
Another project the Hoosac Water Quality District Commission plans to move forward with is riverbank repairs off Kateley Lane in North Adams. The riverbank of the Hoosic River, which cover’s a 30-inch pipe sewage pipe, was damaged during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.
Furlon that the total cost of the project is still being worked out, but the district’s portion is likely to be about $75,000. The district believes it will be able to cover that expense with the surplus it received in septic revenues this year, he said.
"We just received the bids for Kateley Lane, however the commission hasn’t awarded the contract, and probably won’t award it until July 26," he said.
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