New Treatment Plant

Front Page / Aug. 26, 2010 2:16pm EDT

Vote Expected in Nov.

By M.D. Drysdale

It looks as if Randolph can replace the aging sewer lines on Maple and Elm Streets—a million dollar job—virtually for free if citizens agree to bonding for the planned reconstruction of the water treatment plant on Hedding Drive.

Replacing the treatment plant will NOT be free—about $9.6 million—but state and federal incentives will likely pay a large percentage of that project as well, Town Manager Gary Champy told the Randolph Selectboard at its regular meeting last Tuesday, Aug. 17.

The town is moving toward a public hearing on the proposal to replace the treatment plant. Then it intends to ask for a bond vote at the same time as the November general election.

The plant itself is one of the oldest in Vermont, dating to the time in the 1970s when federal money first became available for such treatment. Prior to that, Randolph, like all the towns along the White River, simply piped largely untreated sewage into the river.

Current state and federal programs will pay from 60% to 70% of the new construction, Champy told the board. Then he reported that new funding opportunities mean that the town could also replace the sewer lines on Maple and Elm without adding to the bill that the town would pay.

John Lutz, a member of the town’s water and sewer committee, spoke up to strongly recommend that the town take advantage of the new offer and bond for $10.6 million instead of $9.6 million.

“Its an unbelievable offer that they (state and federal agencies) are making at this time,” Lutz said. “It’s an ideal time to undertake it (sewer plant replacement), and also bids are coming in lower, so the actual price might be even lower.”

Even the portion that the town must fund itself is available as a loan at just 2.3% interest, he noted.

Town Manager Champy told the board he would prepare the exact language of the bond vote article for its Sept. 7 meeting.

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