Pittsfield council plans public hearing on $1 million loan for Main Street sewer works

PITTSFIELD — City Council held a public hearing this week for a $1 million loan for sewer work as part of the city’s upcoming Main Street infrastructure project.

The city ordinance would authorize a loan of up to $1,069,000 from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund for the project. However, the city has already secured a $500,000 grant for the work, so the loan likely won’t cover the full million dollars.

Sewer work will focus on several areas near Main Street, including downtown near the intersection of Main Street and Somerset Avenue, City Manager Kathryn Ruth said at the town hall meeting. Tuesday’s advice.

The Main Street project is being done in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation. The department’s latest schedule indicates that construction on the project will begin in the spring of 2023 at the earliest, Ruth said.

“Probably the most complicated project we’ll ever do is the Main Street project – there are so many moving parts, but it all falls into place,” Ruth said.

The council has set a public hearing for the loan for its next meeting on March 1.

In other cases, councilors heard from fire chief Bernard Williams that he had received new guidance saying the city could use American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters.

The city had already considered using the money for respiratory equipment, but was told the equipment could not be purchased with ARPA money. Instead, the council planned to use a loan to pay for the new equipment. The $180,000 cost was to be part of a $1.25 million loan that would also be used to pay for paving, bridges and culverts in the city.

Bickford said he was frustrated to learn ARPA money could not cover the cost and decided to continue pursuing the issue with state and federal authorities. And it paid off, as he said he received new guidelines this week that meant funding could pay for the equipment.

“So basically that $180,000 that we had set aside before for (respiratory equipment), we don’t need to go to the bond bank right now,” Mayor Michael said. Cianchette.

Councilors agreed that given the new guidelines, they would like to review what ARPA funding can be used for.

The board also approved the transfer of a small parcel of land to the Pittsfield Woolen Yarn Co. which is located in the middle of the property the company owns at 164 Center St. The parcel is just over 1,000 square feet and is surrounded by property owned by Pittsfield Woolen Yarn.

The city became the owner of the parcel in a land swap in 1997, when the city transferred another parcel of land to the company.

The issue arose because Cianbro is buying the Pittsfield Woolen Yarn property and wants the 1,000 square feet included in the purchase.

Councilors had no objections to the transfer and approved it unanimously.

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