Westfield, Southwick partner on sewer extension

Westfield Mayor Daniel M. Knapik said the city is working with Southwick officials to determine the process of compensating the seven property owners for the permanent easements on their land needed to extend the Southwick sewer lateral from Tin Bridge area to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The project involves installing the sewer line under Little River and under Route 20 and the Westfield River.
Under the terms of inter-municipal agreement of Oct. 5, 1998, Westfield is responsible for acquiring “any interest in property necessary for (Southwick) to complete the construction of the necessary sewerage works within the city. All costs associated with said construction and acquisitions are to be borne by the Town.”
“Right now we’re talking about the costs that will be incurred,” Knapik said. “Southwick may make a direct payment rather than having us making an appropriation.”
Knapik submitted the taking legal documents written by the Westfield Law Department, to the City Council at the July 5, 2012 meeting. The council referred the documents to the Legislative & Ordinance Committee for the takings, and to the Finance Committee regarding the cost of the permanent easements, estimated at $5,175 by the Law Department.
Ward 2 Councilor James E. Brown Jr., chairman of the council’s Legislative & Ordinance Committee, said the City Council is on summer recess until Aug. 16.
“Unless something big comes up that requires a special City Council meeting, I plan to meet right before the next meeting to discuss these documents,” Brown said. “I’ve known about this project for six months, but it had to wait until the new fiscal year before Southwick was prepared to go forward.”
Brown said the inter-municipal agreement is part of the city’s expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. The state, as part of the permitting process required that the city operate the facility as a regional wastewater treatment facility, saving capacity for Southwick, which was actively engaged in designing and building a sewer system, and the Town of Southampton, which to date has not acted on using its capacity.
“We have the capacity to do this for Southwick because of the inter-municipal agreement that was part of the plant expansion,” Brown said.

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