As you may know, the Planning Commission has been working on studies, plans, projects and funding sources since 2007 to support the vitality of the Town Center and the future potential of the common area. One of the foundational ways to support Westford's future is to create a modern and functional wastewater system that allows continued use and thoughtful development within the Town Center. A lot of forward movement has happened this year on the project, and we want to make sure everyone is up to date on the Community Wastewater Project. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
-We formed a public engagement working group this summer, composed of Westford residents who are committed to help get the word out about the project. Those group members include Pat Haller, Heather Armata and Eric Ford, in addition to Gordon Gebauer and Seth Jensen from the Planning Commission, Melissa Manka, the Town Planner, and project consultant Juli Beth Hinds, Principal of Birchline Planning LLC, a planner specializing in water infrastructure, financing & community engagement, and Amy Macrellis, Senior Water Quality Specialist, with Stone Environmental, who has been involved in the technical studies, project development, and outreach for the project since 2007.
-In addition to the Planning Commission's work identifying soils, engineering designs and applying for state/federal grants to support this project, work has been focused on creating an outreach plan to the community, beginning with the potential wastewater system users in the common area. To that end, the task force hosted an informational meeting at the Westford Common Hall on August 17th to hear questions and concerns from residents. Paper surveys have also been distributed to potential users to get more feedback and help understand questions about the project.
-A website has been created to support information and communication about the project (You're looking at it! :)) - Here you will find all the basic project information, regularly updated questions and answers about the project, as well as supporting documents, blog posts and events related to the project. If you are on Facebook, make sure to like and follow Westford’s Future for info and updates.
-The task force hosted a site visit with potential system users and designers on September 26th on the common in order to help visualize the potential system’s layout and components, and to answer questions. The task force will also join the Westford senior lunch planned for October to introduce the project to attendees and enjoy some dessert together.
-We are very excited to announce the first town-wide public meeting about the Community Wastewater Project, scheduled for Tuesday, October 19th from 6:30-8:30pm at Westford School. This meeting will be the first opportunity to present the project to the town as a whole, and we look forward to sharing details and hearing your questions and concerns. This will be a hybrid virtual/in-person meeting, with more details to come for those that wish to participate remotely. All Covid-safe precautions will be made for those who want to attend in person.
As always, please feel free to reach out to Melissa Manka, Town Planner with questions and concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org, (802) 878-4587
Planning Commissioners: Koi Boynton (Vice-Chair), George Lamphere (Chair), Gordon Gebauer, Seth Jensen, Mark Letorney: Westford Planning Commission: email@example.com
Community Wastewater Public Engagement Working Group: Heather Armata, Eric Ford, Gordon Gebauer, Pat Haller, Seth Jensen
Wastewater Consultants: Brad Washburn (Project Engineer) , Green Mountain Engineering, Juli Beth Hinds, Principal, Birchline Planning LLC & Amy Macrellis (Senior Water Quality Specialist), Stone Environmental.
Recently, an updated conceptual drawing was provided by the engineering team working on the wastewater design. This drawing shows the general service area, conceptual design, and step tanks including pre-treatment components for the wastewater system. There may be changes that effect the final design as plans evolve, but this design does give a good overall sense of the design plans. This design also illustrates step tank locations for houses without state approved systems. CLICK HERE to see the full design, or visit the RESOURCES page to see this file and many other important documents related to the project.
-Eric Ford, Outreach Team Member