DPW seeks funds to keep upgrading city’s water system

Oct 22, 2020 by

Published October 23, 2020

MELROSE — The Department of Public Works wants to continue its upgrade of the city’s water system, more than a year after one of its weak spots was exposed on Brazil Street.

This week, the City Council was asked to authorize borrowing $875,000 from the MWRA’s Local Water System Assistance Program so improvements can begin in the spring and continue throughout the 2021 construction season.

Projects proposed include the replacement and upgrade of over one mile of water infrastructure at the following locations:

1. Burnett/Hunnewell/Sycamore neighborhood

2. Brazil Street

3. Washington Street/Pleasant Street (near #99 Washington in conjunction with Brazil Street project)

4. Felton Place

5. Ashland Street (to be bid as an add alternate and contingent on available funds)

In a memo, DPW Director Elena Proakis Ellis asks for the money to fund design, engineering and construction of programs that will “continue to address water system improvement projects aimed at addressing leak history, fire flow capacity and water quality in the above mentioned corridors and other areas throughout the system as required. This is a zero percent (0%) interest loan with a 10-year pay-back period commencing in FY 2022 (FY22).” The city plans to repay $87,500 each year. 

The MWRA’s Local Water System Assistance Program provides interest-free loans to member water communities for local water system improvement projects. Loan funds have been approved for distribution from fiscal year 2011 through fiscal year 2021. MWRA’s goal in providing financial assistance to member communities is to improve local water systems to help maintain high quality water as it passes from MWRA’s facilities through local pipelines to customers’ taps. As of September 2020, Melrose has $875,000 in eligible funding available to borrow within the parameters of this program. It is requesting the authorization to borrow said amount.

 The City Council send the whole matter to the Appropriations Committee.

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