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Pending approval of its funding agencies, Waitsfield has selected Simon Operation Services, Waterbury, to operate its municipal water system.
Under construction for almost three years, the water system is slated for completion in November. The almost $8 million project will provide municipal water for Irasville, Waitsfield Village, Old County Road, Waitsfield Elementary School, Verd Mont and possibly areas of Fayston.
The select board, at its September 24 meeting, accepted the operation and maintenance proposal of Simon Operation Services. Mark Simon, president of the company, explained in his proposal that the company provides similar services for water and wastewater treatment facilities throughout Vermont and currently operates 88 water systems and 27 wastewater systems in Vermont.
The one-year proposal to operate and maintain Waitsfield’s system will cost $1,350 per month. The cost of operating the municipal system will be borne by the users. That monthly fee will include 24/7 coverage via pager and cellphone, as well as the maintenance staff to check, run and test the system.
The water system operator will handle maintenance of the distribution lines in the system including the water mains, valve exercising and repairs to water mains. Additionally, Simon Operation Services will handle flushing the hydrants as well as water quality testing.
While Simon Operation Services will operate the system, Waitsfield will retain responsibility for obtaining and maintaining all permits. Waitsfield will also insure the property and pay utility costs.
With a contractor selected, the town is now focusing on completion of the project which includes finishing the pump house on Reed Road where the town’s well is located. All the water mains and water main extensions have been installed and contractors are currently connecting individual properties to the system. Currently properties from Waitsfield Elementary School south through the village and Irasville to Slow Road have been connected. Users through Fiddlers Green will be connected to the system. Users on Old County Road and Tremblay Road have to pay for their own connections to the water system while users within the service area (Waitsfield Village and Irasville) do not.
When all users are connected and the pump house is done, the system will be flushed and water meters will be installed.
Municipal project manager Henry Erickson said the system will go online by the end of October or early November. He said that the flushing of the system would start with the well, then the storage tank and then the main lines of the project. Once the water mains near individual properties have been flushed, the water to those properties will be turned on.