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City addresses sewer and drainage issues

Jan. 31, 2014 |

By G. Michael Dobbs news@thereminder.com CHICOPEE – If you live on Hearthstone Terrace, Ward Street or Bray’s Street, it’s your turn. The city of Chicopee will be installing the new separate sewer and storm water lines along those streets as well as addressing drainage issues at the Belcher School and along Old James Street and Empire Street this summer. Residents of those streets turned out on Jan. 28 to the Belcher School to hear a presentation about the job, which will begin this summer, and to ask questions specifically about their properties. Todd Brown of Tighe & Bond explained to Reminder Publications the construction is the latest round to correct the combined sewer overflows (CSO) that can flush untreated sewage into the Connecticut River and back into the basements of homes. The city will be going out to bid for the project in late February and, under its agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, the city must be under contract for the job by April 1. Mayor Richard Kos told residents the project would take about three years to complete, while Thomas Hamel of the Department of Public Works, who is charge of directing the elimination of the CSOs didn’t mince any words. He called it a “messy inconvenience.” Hamel said that at various times in the construction residents will not have sewer or water service and may have a trench dug in the street blocking their ability access their driveways. Sprinkler systems in lawns near the street will require flagging so cress can avoid them if possible. Trees near the street may require removal, Hamel added. If the tree is on private property, the city will work with homeowners for possible replacement. Because of the nature of the work, Hamel said work crews could be down a street three to four times before completion. The city will communicate to homeowners by hanging notices on doors prior to a stage in the construction. Trash pickup will not be affected and Hamel urged residents to call 594-3585 with any questions or concerns.

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