By Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer
Westborough – In light of the ongoing pandemic, the Westborough Board of Selectmen voted to postpone Annual Town Meeting until Saturday, May 15. The session will be held at the high school starting at 9 a.m.
Moderator John Arnold noted that the intent of the earlier start time is to potentially get all of the business done in one day.
Selectmen previously had talked about trying to get the best participation possible once vaccinations are underway. They hope more residents will feel comfortable attending the meeting.
Capital improvement costs for treatment plant
Earlier during the Feb. 9 meeting, Town Engineer/Administrator Jack Goodhall and Treatment Plant Board Member Michael Stanton made a presentation regarding one of the proposed warrant articles.
The request is to borrow $4 million over four years for capital improvement costs and related engineering services for the Westborough Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Goodhall outlined the items in the request including:
- replacement of a dozen rotors
- replacement of cloth filters that remove fine items from the stream
- installation of a secondary makeup system for polymer
- purchase of a plow truck used within the plant to replace a vehicle dating back to the 1980s
- purchase of a truck to replace an older vehicle that takes grit and screenings and disposes of them at the Shrewsbury landfill
- rehabilitation of the backup filter scrubber and holding tanks and replacement of grit classifiers
- containment around electrical transformers
Stanton said the work needs to be done “to keep the operation (running) as smoothly as it is now and keep the town in a good place.”
He said the various parts had realized their life expectancy and are essential.
Stanton explained that Westborough shares costs with Shrewsbury and Hopkinton with those communities reimbursing the town at rates of 60 percent and five percent, respectively.
The money borrowed for the projects would come out of the enterprise fund. Rate payers from the three towns will see the impact in water and sewer bills and not property taxes.
Stanton said that the plant had a state and federally mandated $54 million upgrade for phosphorus removal that was completed in 2013. He added that the items in the article were not included in that work.
He estimated that another plant upgrade would be needed in about 15 years.
“It will be in very good condition once this work is done,” Stanton said.
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