Business support sought for Congamond sewers

SOUTHWICK – The Board of Selectmen and Sewer Implementation Committee hope a group approach will entice businesses to pay for sewers by Congamond Road.
The SIC asked selectmen for its approval last week to meet with businesses in the Gillette Corners area to discuss helping foot the bill for sewers there.
A state project on Congamond Road would give the town the opportunity to lay in sewer pipes while the road is torn up. The cost would be high, and the SIC members fear residents would balk at approving the project because of the cost.
“We really don’t want the issues we had with Powdermill Road,” said SIC Chairman Gerald Patria.
Last spring, several articles pertaining to sewer installation on Powdermill Road were rejected by voters due to cost and lack of real numbers at the time.
“We discussed having businesss owners help subsidize the cost (of Congamond Road area sewers), but we need your involvement,” said Patria, who asked the Board to assist the SIC in coordinating meetings with businesses.
Patria said they would like to meet with several businesses as a group, including Big Y, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, the Southwick Crossing, and property owner Ralph DePalma.
“I think you have to reach out to these guys,” said Board Chairman Joseph Deedy.
Arthur Pinell suggested a subcommittee form to coordinate the meeting.
“I agree with Mr. Pinell,” said Selectman Douglas Moglin. “You have to go to them with ‘this is the project and this is what it costs’.”
Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart reminded the board the businesses would also have to pay for the cost of the pipe to Westfield that was installed to increase sewer flow.
The groups discussed that grant money currently available for the project could no longer be an option soon.
“The clock’s ticking,” said Selectman Russell Fox. “As soon as we hit 10,000 (residents), the grant money goes away.”
Fox said the subcommittee should stress that the cost will help residents, who are also their customers.
“Southwick is growing, and an investment now will help the community,” Fox said.

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