Mayor Richard Kos is pleased to announce that he has submitted the City of Chicopee’s Integrated Management Plan to MassDEP and USEPA which proposes a holistic, affordable, multi-generational solution to its water-related needs and regulatory responsibilities.
To date, the City has spent $208 million in infrastructure improvements to reduce its combined sewer overflows (CSO) to the Connecticut and Chicopee Rivers. The City has reduced the annual CSO volume by 75%. This diligent effort toward regulatory compliance has unfortunately resulted in a sewer fee increase of almost 400% in the last 20 years. At this time, the City is faced with eliminating the remaining CSO volume, as well as addressing the mounting capital needs in its sewer system and wastewater pump stations and treatment plant, storm drain system, flood damage reduction system, and drinking water system. Collectively, these improvements are estimated to cost approximately $477 million.
The Integrated Management Plan prioritizes water-related improvement projects based on benefit to public health, the environment, and regulatory compliance. The Plan presents a practical and reasonable timeline for completing the estimated $477 million of projects and is designed to be adaptable over time for changing conditions. The Integrated Management Plan prioritizes public health initiatives and is projected to reduce the cost of CSO reductions by $100 million. The Plan will provide a roadmap for improvements that will supersede the requirements of its current federally-issued Consent Decree.
“The issue remains that as a City, we need more time or money,” said Kos. “The reality is that more money is not likely so we are looking for more time that will allow for the work to get done with the least impact on the rate payers.”
To view the plan visit http://ma-chicopee.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/2861.