Massachusetts town votes to replace aging water line following complaints

HADLEY, Mass. — A new 10-inch water main will be installed along a section of South Maple Street from the Norwottuck Rail Trail to Mill Valley Road in Hadley, Massachusetts, the Amherst Bulletin reported on Monday.

The Select Board recently voted 3-0 to appropriate $448,000 for work to replace an aging water line that has been the source of complaints from Hadley residents.

Board member Molly Keegan told the Amherst Bulletin that installing a new water main is a critical fix that will resolve what she described as an ongoing terrible water situation.

Sharing that sentiment, a Mill Valley Road resident complained about the water quality during a discussion on capital spending for the Water Department at the annual Town Meeting back in May.

The funds for the replacement project will derive from three different sources. They are $310,000 in uncommitted federal American Rescue Act Plan funding for the town, $65,000 in last year's water enterprise operational budget, and $73,000 in this year's water enterprise operational budget.

The project can now be incorporated into the Route 9 widening project, which extends from the town center to South Maple Street. Upgrades to the water infrastructure on South Maple from Route 9 to the rail trail were already planned as part of the scope of that work.

A cost estimate conducted by Baltazar Contractors Inc. found that the project will save about $100,000 in future funds, according to Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan.

Treasurer Linda Sanderson stated that the town is taking a prudent approach to resolving a long-standing issue. "It seems like a really nice way to take care of both," Sanderson said.

The water main replacement is also part of the state's $3.5 billion Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD) legislation, which means the town may be reimbursed for the costs in the future.

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