Focus of water and sewer repairs shifts after gas disaster [The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.]
The work to repair or replace sewer and water pipes, valves and a pump station was planned before the gas disaster and still will occur citywide, including in North Lawrence neighborhoods that were not affected by the disaster. But the schedule was rewritten after the disaster to do the work first in
The city is demanding that
The work in North Lawrence will follow. The scope of the work on both sides of the city will not change, only the scheduling, city Public Works Director
“We don’t want
The work will be the third major upgrade to the city’s water and sewer systems since 2014, when the city began a $22 million water project.
A year later, the city signed a consent decree with the federal government that required another $20 million to repair the most decayed and corroded of the city’s sewer lines, including including many in danger of collapsing and others that backed up to the streets during heavy rains. The work is ongoing, although it was suspended after the gas disaster in September to make way for the Columbia crews that were replacing the damaged gas lines.
The city launched the next phase of the water and sewer work on
The council has not yet acted on the request for the funding.
The city hopes to pay for the work with an $18 million loan from the state with an interest rate below 2 percent, and an $8.7 million commercial loan that would be repaid over 20 years, said
The debt service for the earlier two projects has been paid out of the increased revenue the department has collected since it installed new water meters, which are read remotely and are more accurate, and by the surpluses that accumulated in earlier operating budgets. The surpluses, called retained earnings, have dropped from $19 million two years ago to $11 million today.
The rates residents and businesses pay — $3.10 per 100 cubic feet of water and $3.35 per 100 cubic feet of sewage — have so far not been increased to pay for the work, but may increase in 2021, Pena said. He could not say how much.
Among the precautions, the city will require
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