Colrain to get $2.5M for sewer project

COLRAIN — The town’s going to get $2.5 million in state money for a municipal sewer system officials say is vital to boost commercial growth in the village center.

A bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick this week includes the money for a gravity-fed sewer line and pumping station to serve the Center Village District that now relies on individual septic systems.

When reached Friday, Sen. Stan Rosenberg’s office confirmed that the town’s grant is included in the $1.9 billion bond bill, designed to pay for environmental projects throughout the state.

Colrain is developing a Center Village Master Plan, in hopes of re-using its historic buildings, attracting new businesses and drawing tourists who already drive through the town center en route to somewhere else.

Selectmen have already scheduled a meeting on Tuesday with the two legislators who worked to include Colrain’s project in the legislation: state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and state Rep. Paul Mark. The meeting takes place at 2:25 p.m. in the Town Office.

Currently, there are no shops, restaurants or other businesses in the Center Village District, and the lack of sewer service, coupled with a poor geography for septic systems, is believed to have stymied growth and development.

The draft copy of the Center Village Master Plan lists sewer system options. The most doable involve linking to the Barnhardt Manufacturing wastewater treatment facility, which has the capacity to handle additional wastewater.

An early cost-estimate for the gravity main put the project at about $3 million. But selectmen are hoping to get more precise estimates before they bring a sewer proposal to an annual town meeting vote.

“Now that we got the grant, we can get some better numbers,” said Selectman Mark Thibideau.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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