Committee Cuts Back Capital Improvement

Thursday evening the Marion Capital Improvement Planning Committee met to discuss revisions to the fiscal year 2016 report ahead of the March 3 Board of Selectmen meeting. The report details the plans of the CIPC for the next 10 years.

A major change to the report from the last meeting was the removal of three projects from the FY16 plan to compensate for the adjustments requested by the EPA for renewing the license, or National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, for the Town’s wastewater treatment plant.

The projects removed include $150,000 for the design and engineering of a new Department of Public Works building; $4.77 million for Phase 1B construction of Village Area CIP improvements; and $270,000 for Phase 2 designs, totaling $5.19 million worth of projects put on hold.

Casey Barros expressed that he was happy to see the changes made to the proposed projects list.

Allocated for permit negotiations and lagoon analysis is a $450,000 placeholder amount to present to the selectmen.

“It’s a placeholder for engineering services for what we need to do to respond to the EPA,” said CIPC Chairman Norman Hills.

According to the report, the resultant financial impact of the changes is unknown. During the February 5 meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen, engineers determined that costs could exceed $20 million.

One of the major changes the EPA requests is the elimination of unlined lagoon use, as well as the prohibition of letting biosolids degrade naturally in the lagoons. This requires the elimination of three unlined lagoons off Benson Brook Road, which were built in the 1970s to store excess wastewater and treat biosolids. This would require the Town to export the sludge, line the lagoons, and expand filtration amongst other costs.

Other changes to the report include adding a detailed description of Item 2 listed in the proposed projects road repair for sections of Point Road and Front Street. Those repairs include grind, overlay and crack seal.

The cost of this project will be $273,000 and is funded by Chapter 90, a MassDOT program that entitles municipalities to reimbursement for certain projects.

The CIPC report suggests the funding of 20 FY16 capital projects, down from the originally suggested 23, totaling $2,162,065. The report also provides information detailing where the funding would come from for each project.

The changes were accepted unanimously by the committee following a brief discussion about more changes to grammar, capitalization, and spelling suggested by Barros.

The next meeting of the Marion Capital Improvement Planning Committee is scheduled for March 5 at 7:00 pm in the Marion Police Station conference room.

By Andrew Roiter


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