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News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, August 7, 2014
Water company readies for system upgrades

by Rich Hewitt

The Stonington Water Company is gearing up to begin work on upgrading the water system now that all the paperwork on the $1.2 million federal funding package has been completed.

During the past month, the selectmen, acting as the water company directors, have signed documents to secure the grant portion of the package and last week they closed on the loan part of the funding. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program and includes a $443,000 grant and a $757,000 loan. The closing on July 31 secured the loan through Camden National Bank, which was the low bidder for the loan, offering an interest rate of 0.83 percent.

With the funding now in hand, the water company is ready to begin the work on the system, according to Town Manager Kathleen Billings-Pezaris. Although crews from Olver Associates Inc. began marking the location of water lines earlier this summer, Billings-Pezaris said there are still some details to work out before the actual work on the system can begin. She said she plans to meet this week with Analeis Hafford, the Olver engineer who has been managing the water company for more than a year now.

“There’s still some stuff we need to work out on it,” she said. “We just need to sit down this week and scope out the way things are going to go.”

Billings-Pezaris noted that while Hafford will oversee the multi-faceted project, some of the work may be contracted out. She said she wanted to get a better handle on that portion of the project as well.

The project includes much-needed repairs and upgrades to the water system, including new monitoring equipment both at the water storage tank and at the wells, upgrades to the electrical and chemical feeder systems at the pump house, repairs or replacement of hydrants that are not working, and replacing the water lines on Highland Avenue.