Hadley Select Board OK’s water main project

Staff Writer
Monday, August 08, 2022

HADLEY — A project to install a new 10-inch water main along a section of South Maple Street from the Norwottuck Rail Trail to Mill Valley Road is moving forward.

The Select Board recently voted 3-0 to appropriate $448,000 for the work to replace the aging water line that has been the subject of complaints from residents in that section of Hadley.

Board member Molly Keegan said installing a new water main is a particularly important fix and will resolve what she termed an ongoing terrible water situation.

In fact, at annual Town Meeting in May, a complaint was brought forward by a Mill Valley Road resident about the water quality during a discussion on capital spending for the Water Department.

The money for the water main replacement is coming from three sources. They are $310,000 from federal American Rescue Act Plan funding for the town that had yet to be committed, $65,000 from last year’s water enterprise operational budget, and $73,000 from this year’s water enterprise operational budget.

Having the money for the project means that it can be rolled into the Route 9 widening that extends from the town center to South Maple Street. As part of the scope of that work, upgrades to the water infrastructure were already planned on South Maple from Route 9 to the rail trail.

Baltazar Contractors Inc. of Ludlow, which is handling the state project, offered the cost estimate for the water main work and, in its report to town officials, informed them that doing the projects in sync would save about $100,000 in future costs, said Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan.

Brennan said the information from Baltazar meant doing the work soon was too good of an opportunity to pass up, though during the Select Board’s initial discussion on the matter it was unclear whether the money was available and whether a Special Town Meeting might be needed to approve the spending.

Treasurer Linda Sanderson said the town is taking a sensible approach to solving a longstanding problem. “It seems like a really nice way to take care of that at the same time,” Sanderson said.

The water main replacement also is included in the state’s $3.5 billion Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD) legislation, meaning the town could eventually be reimbursed for the costs.