Sunday March 3, 2013

WEST STOCKBRIDGE -- The town’s $1.2 million sewer expansion -- a project expected to nearly double the number of homeowners using the municipal system -- has been given the green light.

Earlier this week, nearly 70 voters at a special town meeting unanimously agreed to extend sewer lines in front of 61 homes along Albany, Swamp, Stockbridge and Lenox Mountain roads along with Washington Square and Pomeroy Street. Currently, 82 homes and businesses are tied into the town sewer system installed in the late 1980s.

The added users would still leave the town’s sewage treatment plant at about 50 percent of its state-approved capacity, according to town officials.

Town Administrator Mark Webber says once the work is put out to bid and a contract awarded, construction should begin in late summer and finish in the spring of 2014.

"The project mirrors the original design of the system built 25 years ago, but was never done," he said.

Webber noted a combination of federal funding will initially pay for the $1.2 million project being borne by all town taxpayers. A $914,200 low-interest loan and $304,000 grant, both from the U.S Agriculture Department Rural Development will cover the capital expenditure. The loan is for 39 years at an annual interest rate of 2.5 percent, adding $9 per $100,000 of assessed property value, town officials said.

Homeowners with failed septic systems are mandated to tie into the sewer line extensions. Property owners with septic systems that pass inspection every two years don’t have to hook up. West Stockbrdige sewer users pay an annual average bill of $542.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.