Future Changes to Infrastructure Discussed

The Marion Board of Selectmen met Tuesday evening to discuss several issues, including future improvements to the infrastructure of the town, an update from Police Chief Lincoln Miller and two surplus police vehicles.

Sean Syde and Mike Guidice from CDM Smith presented a plan for Infrastructure Capital Improvements within the Town of Marion to the Board.

According to their website, CDM Smith provides “lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide.”

Their presentation discussed a five-phase plan that will take place over a period of 10 years, retroactive to 2012.

“We basically targeted a 10-year implementation window,” said Guidice. “We think that it’s a reasonable schedule which meets the town’s needs at this point.”

Over the past 10 years, CDM Smith has done several assessments of the community, and from those assessments, they found that several areas of the town needed work.

Four core areas — sewer systems, roads and sidewalks, water pipes and drain systems — have been identified as main areas of concern.

The total project cost has been estimated at $18.41million. That number is about $8.93 million lower than what was estimated last year for the project, with savings that include a recently acquired $1 million from a MassWorks Infrastructure Grant and $1 million in Chapter 90 funds, among other savings.

The town will also utilize a DEP State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program, which gives the town $19.3 million for sewer and drainage improvements for all phases. It is a low-interest loan with a 2 percent rate.

As of now, the town does not foresee any other grants or funding from the federal government or the state. A meeting will be held on March 7 to readdress this plan in further detail, and on April 25, a meeting will be held to discuss phase 1A specifically.

In other news, Police Chief Miller addressed the Board to introduce Officer Derryl Lawrence to the Marion Police Department, and he also took the opportunity to thank the community and several of the town’s departments for their work last weekend during snowstorm Nemo.

Miller commended the work of his and the other departments, including the Fire Department and EMS, as well as the community for all their hard work.

“We were able to get through it and handle everything,” said Chief Miller. “This is a group of department heads coming together. We were able to get the town back to normalcy within a few days. I think we did rather well considering the amount of damage out there.”

The Board also unanimously approved the declaration of two police vehicles as surplus, meaning that they are no longer needed for the department. State law requires that the town put the vehicles out for bid. They will be awarded to the highest bidders.

By Nick Walecka

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