|By Carley Dangona|
AGAWAM This year the town saw progress in two of its long-term projects, the cleanup of the Walnut Street Extension and the Southwest Area Sewer Extension Project Phase II.
The city was awarded a Brownfields Redevelopment Fund Grant for the assessment of Games and Lane site, 346-350 Walnut St. Ext., to determine the cost of its cleanup.
Back in 2010 the site was identified as a priority for economic development, but sufficient funds were not readily available to deal with the contamination of the location, which stems from its previous use as a dry cleaning facility.
The assessment has yet to be completed, but O'Reilly, Talbot & Okun of Springfield, was identified as the company interested in taking over the project.
In March, the design for the Sewer Extension Project was completed. In June, questions arose relating to the $10.5 million cost of the project and in July the City Council requested that the cost be reduced.
Councilor Robert Rossi, chair of the project's council sub-committee, pushed to move forward with the project despite Mayor Richard Cohen's rejection of the expense of the phase. After multiple meetings and workshops, the council voted in December to table the project indefinitely.
Currently, city officials are exploring the option of creating a septic repair loan program for residents.
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