State to forgive part of Orange infrastructure loan for new sewer, water mains


Staff Writer

Published: 01-08-2023 12:00 PM

ORANGE — The state is forgiving 17% of a $1.4 million loan it gave to Orange so the town can replace gravity sewer mains and water mains under North Main Street prior to a road reconstruction project in the same location.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who also chairs the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust’s board of trustees, announced in December that at least $107.3 million in grants were awarded for 43 projects in 35 communities. The grants are awarded to cities, towns, counties and water utilities to help pay for improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. They are provided in the form of loan forgiveness and are awarded by project category.

Orange will be forgiven $244,619 of the $1,405,855 loan it received from the state.

Edward Billiel Jr., chief operator at the Orange Wastewater Treatment Facility, said the North Main Street project is critical because some of the underground lines date back to the 1890s.

“Some lines have been replaced over the years, but we still have a lot to go,” he said.

Billiel, who in June retires from a 40-year career at the facility, said the work spans from Prospect Street to Lincoln Avenue. He said the clay tile pipes will be replaced with ones made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which he explained is high-quality plastic.

“It’s great any time we get some money for new lines,” Billiel said.

He said Worcester contractor Ricciardi Bros Inc. has been tasked with the work. The company started its work near the end of September and stopped around Thanksgiving. Billiel explained work will resume in April.

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