Deerfield to vote on wastewater repair at STM

  • South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/7/2019 11:28:42 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD – The town previously opted to replace a South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Plant tank, and the time is coming to allocate the money to finance the work.

The Deerfield Selectboard voted this week to sign a three-article warrant for a Special Town Meeting set for Monday, Feb. 25, when residents will be asked to appropriate $1 million to pay the costs of replacing the mechanical system inside an existing secondary clarifier at the treatment facility, as the state Department of Environmental Protection has required. The work includes, but is not limited to, planning, design, bidding and construction.

Selectboard Chairman Henry “Kip” Komosa stressed that the $1 million figure is not a guaranteed amount, but outgoing Town Administrator Wendy Foxymn, whose final day on the job was Thursday, told The Recorder it is a safe estimate of how much the work will cost.

The wastewater clarifier, which Public Works Superintendent Kevin Scarborough explained is the tank that treated water goes through before it made contact with chlorine, failed in December 2017, when electricity was temporarily disabled by brutally cold temperatures and its metal arm bent when power came back on and tried to move accumulated treated water.

MassDEP has told Deerfield it must fix the problem, and about four months ago gave the town 90 days to do so. That deadline was eventually extended to a year. Deerfield decided to replace the clarifier, instead of rebuilding it or constructing a new one and an associated pump station.

Another article on the warrant asks the public to appropriate for spending $163.10 from the state. Foxmyn explained customers of rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, pay a 20-cent-per-ride tax to the state. Foxmyn said the state divvies up that money to towns and cities throughout Massachusetts based on usage, but requires them to spend it. She said Worthington has been allocated 10 cents by the state.

The special town meeting is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in the Deerfield Town Offices on Monday, Feb. 25.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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