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Committee dismayed by slow progress on sewer project

Date: 9/21/2011

Sept. 21, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

AGAWAM — Ad Hoc Sewer Committee Chairman Robert Rossi said he thought progress on Phase II and II of the Feeding Hills sewer project would be “a lot further than we are” when the committee met on Sept. 15.

Todd Brown, vice president for consulting engineers Tighe & Bond, told the committee his company recently added more people to the team that is designing the Phase III pumping station. He said that portion of the project is “25 to 30 percent done.”

He said his company has also been in contact with the town’s law department regarding land acquisition needed for construction of the pumping station, once the design is complete.

“We have done all the surveys and things required for the land acquisition,” Brown said, adding that he was waiting to hear back from the law department to learn if there were more steps necessary to complete the process.

“I think the law department just needs to do an assessment and to negotiate with the landowner,” Brown said.

He said he has also been in contact with Western Massachusetts Electric Company regarding power needs for the project.

“With all the tornado damage, micro bursts, Hurricane Irene ... it’s hard to get their attention,” he said.

Douglas Reed, a citizen member of the committee, pointed out that when the group met in February, they believed construction would start on Phase II and III by this fall.

“Now we’re looking at April of 2012,” Reed said.

Rossi said the “good news” in this delay is that the committee would have all winter to prepare bids for the project.

Brown said his firm envisions soliciting two bids for this phase of the project, one for the waste pipe, which will be laid along Barry, Pine and South Westfield streets and Bradford Drive, and another for the pumping station.

“If we bid during the winter, contractors are still hungry for work,” Brown said.

Rossi said he felt it was “very important that we keep going as quickly as we can so we can keep costs down for the town.”

The Ad Hoc Sewer committee scheduled its next meeting for mid- January 2012.

Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at

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