Bennington sewer project moves forward

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BENNINGTON — The town won't be on the hook for additional costs to the town-managed portion of the sewer plant project.



Select Board members last month expressed concern over spending more money for resident engineering services for the town's project at the wastewater treatment plant.



What appeared then to be an additional $100,000 tacked onto the total project cost had already been built into the project, Town Manager Stu Hurd said on Monday night.



Hurd said it was already included in the $9.85 million for upgrades voters bonded in October. A $4.55 million portion of that work will be managed by town staff and the rest by a general contractor.



"We knew there was additional resident engineering services being provided in this contract that we didn't think we needed," Hurd told Select Board members. But there will be overlap between services provided in either contract, he said.



An "assurance of discontinuance" from the state Department of Environmental Conservation requires the town repair 30-year-old RBC units. The legal order came after breakdowns last summer interrupted the treatment process and led to sewage not being aerated, leading to multiple wastewater discharge violations as well as foul odors.



Board members last month did not authorize an engineering agreement for services and asked for more information.



"It seemed like an additional cost, but it looks like it was built in whole time," Vice Chairman Donald Campbell said Monday.



Members on Monday approved an agreement for engineering services with Aldrich & Elliott of Waterbury that they tabled last month. In a separate action, they voted unanimously to sign an application to the state revolving loan program for $266,000, which will be used to pay for final design for the upgrades at the facility.



Staff with the town's public works department will replace 30 of the plant's 32 RBC units, along with 18 new drive motors, new fiberglass covers, and associated electrical upgrades, a $4.55 million project. A general contractor would carry out some $5.3 million in various upgrades across the plant.



Evoqua Water Technologies of Albany, N.Y. submitted the low bid for the new RBC units, drive motors and enclosures, at $2.99 million.



Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.




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