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Wetzel: Pond St., shut-off policy, fuel and WWTP updates


AYER – Ayer DPW Supt. Mark Wetzel reported to the Board of Selectmen on July 17 that the low bidder for an ultraviolet disinfection system upgrade for the wastewater treatment plant came in at $285,400.

That’s nearly $125,000 less than the $410,000 approved for the upgrade by Annual Town Meeting in May. The work is to be done by December.

Having received no bids for fuel purchases by the June 4 deadline, Wetzel said the town will purchase fuel in Fiscal Year 2013 through the state’s contract list.

No lead gasoline will be priced at .0781 above the daily price index. Ultra low sulfur diesel will be priced at .0346 above the daily index. Heating fuel will be priced at .1313 over the daily index.

Wetzel said he is “very disappointed in the progress that’s been made” by the contractor hired by the town to rebuild Pond Street. “Every time I drive by, I can’t believe it’s a dirt road.” Wetzel said the road, torn up in the spring, was to have been paved by now so it would settle in time for a top coat in October.

“We really don’t have any more teeth” to have the contractor do more, said Wetzel. He said the Pond Street neighborhood has been very patient throughout the ordeal. He recommended a “letter of concern” be sent to both the contractor and the contractor’s bonding company. “I drove down there this morning and it was like a slalom course and it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Clamping down on deadbeat water customers will take some added time and study. Tasked by the selectmen to come up with a water shut-off policy, Wetzel said “the more I got into it, the more I started changing things.” Wetzel said the 37 page draft copy is longer than most towns’ 8-12 page policies. He recommended having more time to finesse the language.

“I’m making alot of progress,” said Wetzel. A final draft is to come before the selectmen in August. A public hearing would take place first before any implementation, said Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand. “We are almost there,” said Pontbriand. “It has been too long and many are frustrated with that. To the superintendent’s credit, he’s accelerated it since his arrival.”

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