WESTBOROUGH – A request to establish a stormwater enterprise fund and changes to the water use restrictions top the list of Town Meeting warrant articles filed by the Department of Public Works (DPW).
Other articles include funds for the construction of a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) treatment system and a culvert replacement on Bowman Lane.
Article 27 asks the voters to create a new bylaw establishing a fund to help maintain the town’s stormwater infrastructure. The fund would be similar to an electric or drinking water utility.
Should this article be approved, Article 28 would ask for $150,000 to begin implementing the program. The implementation process will include steps to finalize a fee structure, identify a timeline for putting the fee in place and determine criteria for exemptions and credits.
To find out more about the proposed enterprise fund, visit www.town.westborough.ma.us/home/news/stormwater-utility-information.
Article 29 asks for an amendment to the water use restrictions. Specifically, it asks that the restrictions apply to private on-site wells as well as public water supply users.
According to the DPW, the proposed change is because all users, public or private, access the same aquifers.
The other articles
Article 20 is a request for rescind borrowing authorization to upgrade the Fisher Street Water Purification Facility for $1,240,904. The funds were approved at Town Meeting in 2018.
Article 21 asks to raise $1,085,000 to replace a culvert on Bowman Lane and the design of culvert replacements at the Morse Street and Upton Road intersection.
The town has applied for funding through the Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program. Up to $400,000 can be awarded to a project. Any funds awarded through this grant will be applied to the Bowman Lane culvert project cost.
Article 22 is a request to transfer $50,000 from water retained earnings to provide funding for capital improvements associated with the town’s water distribution system. The funds will be used to replace assets that have a useful life of 20+ years. The primary assets that are the focus for this work are water gate valves. The town operates and maintains more than 1,500 valves.
Article 23 is a request to raise $6.4 million to fund project management and construction for the addition of a PFAS treatment system at the Oak Street water plant.
One of the wells that feeds to the Oak Street plant is currently not in use because the PFAS concentration exceeds the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection allowable limit.
Westborough’s PFAS treatment project was added to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection draft calendar year 2023 intended use plan, which lists the projects, borrowers and amounts that are being recommended for financing through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan program. The DWSRF is a joint federal-state financing program that provides subsidized loans to protect public health by improving water supply infrastructure systems and protect drinking water in the Commonwealth.
Article 24 requests a transfer of $597,500 from water retained earnings, and $37,500 from sewer retained earnings, to fund improvements to infrastructure related to the town’s water supply. The work involves connection of a well to the distribution system, rehabilitation of the primary spillway at the reservoir, and investigation of options for aquifer recharge.
In 2021, a new well was dug in the Wilkinson Well field. The next step in the process in order to make the well active is connection to the water system. Connecting the well to the water system will allow the town to maximize its water withdrawal permit for the well field. This funding will allow for system design and installation of pipes and mechanical systems to connect to the water distribution system.
In 2018, an inspection by the Office of Dam Safety of the structures at the reservoir identified deficiencies. This funding will allow for repairs to be completed at the reservoir.
The town recently applied for a Municipal Vulnerability Program Action Grant to fund a project focused on aquifer recharge.
Article 25 is a request from sewer retained earnings of $200,000 to continue the process for updating the town’s Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan.
This update to the CWMP will identify potential changes in wastewater disposal needs, including modifications that may be required to residential, commercial and industrial wastewater allocations. The motion for this article requires a simple majority vote.
Article 26 is a request to transfer $150,000 from sewer retained earnings to provide funds for capital improvements associated with the town’s sewer collection system. The funds will be used to replace assets that have a useful life of 20+ years. The primary assets that are the focus for this work are sewer station pumps, impellers and controls. The town operates and maintains 32 pump stations.
These articles require a simple majority vote.
Under the Capital Improvement Plan (Article 10), the DPW is requesting $115,000 from free cash for building and grounds maintenance; $20,000 from sewer retained earnings and $20,000 from water retained earnings to purchase and equip two maintenance vehicles; $28,333 from free cash to replace a wood chipper; to transfer $56,667 from free cash, $56,666 from sewer retained earnings and $56,667 from water retained earnings to purchase and equip a bucket truck; and $265,000 from free cash to purchase and equip a six-wheel dump truck.
These requests also require a simple majority vote.
Town Meeting convenes on Saturday, March 25, at 9 a.m. in the high school auditorium. To view the entire warrant, visit https://www.town.westborough.ma.us/home/news/official-town-meeting-warrant-march-2023.