Hatfield voters OK water line easements, vehicle leases

  • Hatfield Town Hall, 2019

Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 01, 2020

HATFIELD — Voters have given the go-ahead for acquiring easements to allow a $3.6 million water and sewer infrastructure improvement project on Route 5 to proceed and to continue a system in which equipment and vehicles are leased for town departments.

At special Town Meeting Saturday morning, voters approved unanimously and without any questions the necessary easements for installation of pump stations and other related parts of the project, such as pipes.

For five-year leases, voter approval means the town can acquire an $85,000 mower to maintain fields and town property, a $140,00 mini excavator, a $275,000 dump truck and a $60,000 school van.

Finance Committee Chairman Darryl Williams said that while it’s called a lease, the town ends up owning the equipment.

“It’s been a very successful program,” Williams said, noting that equipment and vehicles are acquired when existing parts of the fleet are at the end of their lifespans.

Select Board Chairwoman Diana Szynal said the system, in which money is appropriated for equipment and vehicles based on a capital plan, has reduced competition between departments, and is a sensible and responsible way to keep vehicles safe and efficient,.

The meeting was adjourned by Moderator Joe Lavallee after less than 20 minutes.