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North Adams Council Looks at Borrowing for Water System Upgrades
Staff Reports,
01:54AM / Monday, August 07, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to authorize a borrowing of $783,910 for a number of upgrades, including an engineering study of the city's two reservoirs. 
"This borrowing will allow for the necessary upgrades at the water facility and watershed and I don't think it will suprise anyone that the city is in desperate need of a new street sweeper," Mayor Richard Alcombright wrote in his communication to the council detailing the funding allocations. 
The money will be used for: 
  • An upgrade of the computer system used to operate the water treatment facility ($255,100)
  • New media filters for the treatment facility ($83,200)
  • An Elgin Broom Bear street sweeper ($269,010)
  • Phase 2 inspections and studies of the Mount Williams and Notch reservoir dams ($176,600)
The city's Capital Improvement Plan from 2016 cites the reservoirs as in poor condition based on a study of the water system by Tighe & Bond in 2011. Of greatest concern has been the failing aqueduct that links the two reservoirs and the deteriorating conditions of the reservoir dams. 
The water treatment plant has been struggling with obsolete and antiquated equipment for some time. The operating system is out of date and cannot be updated; Commissioner of Public Services Timothy Lescarbeau said he's been searching for castoff parts to keep it running. The new media filters at the 23-year-old plant were hoped to be replaced two years ago. 
The administration expects about $1.1 million in debt and interest to fall off the books by 2020. 
The mayor will also ask for a transfer of $42,891.36 from the Parking Meter Reserve Account to the public safety department to buy a Ford Utility Police Interceptor. 
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