Mayor Richard Kos is pleased to announce that modifications to the schedule of the City of Chicopee’s Long Term Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Plan which will defer completion dates of Phase 5 projects and allow the City to continue with Sewer Backup Reduction relief have been approved.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection have agreed to a fifth modification while they currently review the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the CSO projects. The modification will change the completion date of Phase 5B and 5C by adding 5-7 years from 2019 to 2024 and 2026 respectively. Phase 5 covers sewer separation projects throughout the downtown Chicopee area. The Hamden/West Street project, which is Phase 5A, was not affected and work is expected to be completed early next year. Phase 5B will cover Springfield Street, and Phase 5C will encompass the downtown area of Center, Exchange, and Springfield Streets.
These modifications will provide short-term relief to residents as this modification removes the need for a sewer fee increase in 2018 and 2019. Additionally it will allow the City to continue with Sewer Backup Reduction relief for the Baystate Road/Clarendon Avenue area sewer separation work to proceed without a sewer fee increase as well.
“Getting more time for this project is a win-win for our City,” said Mayor Kos. “It allows us to extend the time before we incur new debt, focus on immediate sewer/health issues and do a manageable number of projects at any one time in our City.”
The IMP, which was submitted to the U.S. EPA and MA DEP in October 2016, seeks to recognize that the original Consent Decree schedule tries to do too much at any one time and is too costly for local taxpayers. Further modifications to the Decree are being reviewed by the agencies. Since 2014, five modifications of schedule to the City of Chicopee’s Long Term CSO Control plan have been accepted. They have changed the project timelines for Phases 3 through 8 of the project to allow for preliminary construction work to be completed and additional funding to become available.
Crews have completed Phase 3 CSO work along Chicopee and Meadow Streets in North Willimansett and have begun restoration work and final paving of all main roads and side streets. Paving is expected to be completed in June.