The plan has been on the table for several years, according to Selectmen Chairman George Shippey, who noted, "We've known we needed to do it for some time."
The town currently has 6-inch lines running under Main Street. The plan is to replace them with 12-inch lines.
Thus, voters will be asked to accept a $2.9 million loan from the state's Drinking Water Revolving Fund and to transfer $500,000 from available funds for the project.
Besides refurbishing the water lines, the project will call for replacing lines on Shamrock and Pine streets and part of East Main Street, as well as a section of Glendale Road, Shippey said.
The town also is planning to install a 600,000-gallon water storage tank on property owned by the Congregation of Marians. The town and the Marians have worked out an agreement for that part of the project, Shippey said.
The latter plan has been in the works for a few years. What accelerated the process was the discovery that the water pressure at the east end of Main Street was insufficient for the renovated Stockbridge Plain School. Last month, the town learned that water pressure for the currently unused top floor of the former school was unsatisfactory. The state fire marshal ruled that, in case of a fire, firefighters in that part of the building would be at risk.
Other articles on the warrant include a request to transfer $15,000 for consulting services and to rescind about $3 million of a $9 million loan for the upgrade and expansion of the town's sewer system. The work, which has been completed, was under budget by that amount, according to Jorja-Ann P. Marsden, town administrative assistant.