WILLIAMSTOWN -- A project that would bring potable water to the Margaret Lindley Park bathhouse for the first time in a decade is scheduled to be finished by the end of the season, an official said.
On Thursday, engineer Charlie LaBatt with Guntlow and Associates told Conservation Commission members the project is awaiting final permits from state agencies before a new well can be drilled. When completed, the bathhouse will have a new water source and updated facilities, he said.
"We'll see if we can put them on parallel tracks to speed up the process," he said. "But the approval process through [the Department of Environmental Protection] is, if we're lucky, a four-week process."
Chairman Philip Mcknight said the old well at Margaret Lindley Park, which is managed by the Conservation Commission, collapsed about 10 years ago. Since then, the main building's bathrooms have not been used, he said, but changing rooms are open while an attendant is on duty.
The project is being funded using $65,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. The CPA, a two percent property tax surcharge approved by town voters in 2002, gives the town the option of funding projects devoted to community housing, historic preservation, open space, and land for recreational use.
On Thursday, the commission voted to accept the drilling of the well, which will be located about 180 feet from Sweet Brook. LaBatt assured commissioners the area would see only limited disturbances, including minimal clearing of young growth.
"We're fortunate enough so this area is in large part a maintained lawn," he said.
On Tuesday, engineers met with the DEP's Water Supply Division, LaBatt said.
"They believe it is fit as well for a new public water supply," he said.
The project can begin once permission is granted from the state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, LaBatt said, which reviews projects proposed within rare species habitats. LaBatt said a request was submitted to the program about two weeks ago, and he expects a response within two weeks.
"We'll try to prod them a little quicker, but with other projects they seem to be busy enough so they can't do it in less than 30 days," he explained.
Other projects both the Community Preservation Committee and Town Meeting approved this year are: $2,000 to David and Judy Loomis for chimney restoration at their home, the Col. Benjamin Simonds House, where they operate the River Bend Farm Bed and Breakfast; $25,000 for the restoration of historic gravestones at Southlawn Cemetery; and $200,000 to the Affordable Housing Trust.
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