PEPPERELL — Don Bradanese, of Tarbell Street, appeared before the Board of Public Works to argue his case for a refund of $116 for the testing and replacement of his water meter. Bradanese had been prompted to take a look at his meter after receiving his water bill.
”I thought my usage was very, very high,” he said.
While observing his meter, Bradanese noticed an unusual mechanical trait of the meter in which the water usage indicator skipped a number when approaching zero.
Suspecting that the meter was defective, Bradanese contacted the water department. An employee was sent to change the meter and send the original meter out for testing.
After reviewing the test results, which suggested that the original meter was mechanically sound, Bradanese, an engineer by trade, questioned the way the meter was tested.
”The test was insufficient,” he said, noting that he typically uses two to three gallons per hour, while the meter was tested at 15 gallons per hour. He later confirmed the test parameters with the meter’s manufacturer.
Bradanese learned from his research that all of the meters produced by this manufacturer “jump” to zero as part of the process used to ensure alignment of the dial indicators.
”The water department employee didn’t know this, and (DPW Director) Bob Lee didn’t know,” explained Bradanese. “If that was pointed out to me, there would have been no test needed and no change of the meter.”
The board recommended that Bradanese file an abatement request for the $116 for consideration at the next board meeting.
In other public works business undertaken by the board:Nashoba Publishing
Bids have been opened for replacing the two generators at the Bemis and Jersey well sites.
DPW Director Lee explained that although there had been only one bidder to date, that bid was below the engineer’s estimate. The town had approved $258,000 for the project, but the actual cost is expected not to exceed $225,000 with the generators accounting for just $111,000 of that total.
The board approved a sewer abatement request for $426.70 for 6 Juniper Street for overbilling caused by a “deduct” meter that was inadvertently omitted from the last billing calculation.
Director Lee announced that work on the Townsend Street sewer extension is expected to start sometime in the first full week in June. The DEP has been contacted and the town is awaiting the sewer extension permit. Bids for the project had PV Construction of Stoneham, Mass., coming in with the lowest bid of $375,000. Nine of the twelve bidders were below $500,000 leaving Lee “happy with the results.”
Lee reported that there has been no progress on the Suburban Village Mobile Home Park sewer project. “I’ve heard from no one in over a month,” said Lee.
The redesign of the parking area at the Senior Center was completed last week. Lee said the town saved about $10,000 by having the Highway Department do the paving themselves.
Pepperell is expected to receive its DART Recycling Community certification after opening up a composting area at the transfer station. Lee explained that the new compost operation will be accessible to residents from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
The covered bridge reconstruction project is closer to reality with advertising for construction bids due to be published in mid-May. A final review of the bridge design is being conducted and should move forward as planned. Lee thanked state Rep. Robert Hargraves for keeping him well-informed of progress on the pre-construction phase of the project.
Lee reported that the Parks and Cemetery garage was vandalized with spray paint. The Police Department is investigating.