Pittsfield City Council approves $745,000 borrowing plan to replace Alfred Drive water main

Council heard the city’s explanation of the loan request — as well as the urgency behind it — at its Tuesday night meeting.

“The reason for this is that we opened the bids in this very crazy bidding scenario that we are living in right now with uncertainty. We decided to wait until we had the bids in hand to ask what that would be. amount, and therefore, we are against the clock with the 30 days we have to award the contract Bids were opened on August 22n/a. We have to assign by November, I’m sorry, September 21stst. 30 days,” Public Works Commissioner Ricardo Morales said. “It boils down to discolored water at the faucets of residents of Alfred Drive, primarily these residents. There are branches out there, but that’s where the problems are. “. It’s very particular to that street. We really don’t have problems like that anywhere else in the city. We isolated, we did line studies there, and we determined that the problem, as we suspected, was with the line that is there.”

As part of the city’s plan to replace the Alfred Drive water main before winter, nearly $500,000 would go to contractor Caracas Construction, $150,000 would go to administration and construction. engineering and $100,000 would be earmarked for contingencies.

General City Councilwoman Karen Kalinowsky asked Mayor Linda Tyer why the city did not choose to use federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for the project.

“We’re not using ARPA money because this is a one-neighborhood project,” Tyer said. “We have taken a position with the use of ARPA funds that we want to maximize their use for the greatest benefit to the people of the City of Pittsfield. And that is why we do not use ARPA funds. ARPA for this neighborhood project. We want to make sure that we use it in a way that benefits as many people as possible. So, for example, we are fixing our water supply systems, drinking water and our tanks, which actually helps everyone in the city of Pittsfield.

Kalinowsky disagreed.

“If we use ARPA money, it would help all taxpayers by not borrowing $745,000 from the enterprise fund, so you’re actually helping everyone,” she said. “And that’s my whole aspect, because I read the ARPA stuff, and I know they really pushed it to cities to use for water, sewer. And I think it’s because a lot of cities have old systems like us, pipes and everything is old like ours, and I’d really rather see us use ARPA money for that.

Ward 7’s Anthony Maffuccio said he would support the plan, but included his own caveat.

“It’s in Ward 4,” he said. “We have a big problem in Ward 7 King Street that has been going on for over 30 years and that neither the commissioner nor the mayor have yet solved. So I hope that in the future you will give some help. “Watch out for the West Side, and not always the elite neighborhoods. We have quality of life, water issues there, and you know exactly what they are and you know the exact cost. I’ll give you that here, but don’t show up again without helping the West Side.

Ward 2’s Charles Kronick led his own campaign to cut the spending plan by asking Tyer to cut his $100,000 provident line.

Tyer flatly rejected the suggestion.

“The construction project will start, we will dig the road,” said the mayor. “And we might discover something in the middle of this project that requires a change order. Change orders often involve additional expense, we need to be able to act quickly while we’re under construction.

Councilor Pete White said residents of Alfred Drive have been in contact with the council for more than a year to deal with the water main.

“It’s not a good idea to have brown water for our residents,” he said. “It’s not a healthy thing, although it doesn’t cause immediate problems. None of us want to turn on our taps and see brown water. That’s what it’s going to solve.

The board approved the loan with Kalinowsky and Kronick in opposition.

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