Town engineer raises concern about EPA requirements


Westborough – With two members not in attendance, the Board of Selectmen decided to take several topics off its Jan. 11 meeting agenda, including appointing a Conservation Commission officer and a redistricting discussion. One issue of concern they did discuss was the possibility of the town facing significant expenses as a result of new mandated regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Town Engineer Carl Balduf, appearing before the board, said that in 2003 the EPA had informed communities that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was required for dealing with the town’s storm water discharge. Under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act, all industrial, municipal and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. Recently the agency released a draft of a new proposal, which lists many new unfunded mandates, raising the concern of town officials.

“There are a lot of issues in this,” Balduf said, noting there were almost twice as many mandates as in the prior permit process. “This will probably end up costing us part of a staff position.”

Town Manager Jim Malloy agreed.

“This is going to cost us a lot of money,” he said.

Other communities throughout the state have passed the costs to residents and businesses to help pay for these mandates, Malloy said. It was possible that Westborough may have to do this as well, possibly as soon as next year.

The selectmen agreed to have town officials send a letter stating their concerns to the EPA.

In other business, the board granted a Common Victualler Permit to NexDine, LLC for the new BJ’s corporate headquarters cafeteria. According to NexDine’s CEO David Lanci, who appeared before the board, 1,200 employees will be based at that location, the site of the former National Grid Building.

“Welcome to town,” Vice Chair Lydia Goldblatt told him. “We are happy to have you all here.”

The board approved a measure to create a Reservoir Study Administrative Committee which will, among other things, assess the possibility of additional storage capacity at the Sandra Pond Reservoir. The committee will be composed of the town manager, town engineer, Department of Public Works director and two residents. The goal, Malloy said, will be to file a report with recommendations to the town by Dec. 31, 2011.

The board also appointed Earl Storey to the 9/11 10th Anniversary Committee. Several committees in town also currently have vacancies, Goldblatt said, including the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Committee, Conservation Commission, Country Club Operating Committee, Historical Commission, Open Space Preservation Committee and Youth Commission.

Those interested in applying for any of these positions should send a letter and resume to the Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 34 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581.