By Lisa Loomis
Waitsfield Select Board approved the town taking a $150,000 line of credit for six months to cover expenses associated with a break in a town water main.
The select board, at its November 10 meeting, approved town administrator Valerie Capels’ proposal to take a line of credit.
The water main break occurred when a VTrans contractor drilled into a 12-inch water main near Tremblay Road where work was being done on a bridge abutment on September 4. Water system users were without water until Friday evening, September 5, while contractors worked to install a temporary line.
The incident left water system users without water for over a day and subject to a boil water notice for several days after the water was turned back on via a temporary water line.
On October 20, a final repair took place, leaving users without water overnight.
According to Capels, invoices for the water main break total $113,580 to date. That figure does not include October legal expenses or the cost of two curb stops which were installed on October 27 on the property of the people who provided an easement to the town for the repaired main. It also does not cover future legal and engineering costs.
The town is still working with its attorney and VTrans regarding who is responsible for the cost of the repairs.
Minutes from the Waitsfield Water Commission’s September 9 and 23 meetings make it clear that blueprints provided to a contractor by VTrans showed the water main in the wrong location. The town’s engineers have documentation showing that the as-built plans for the water project had the water main in the correct location. In fact, VTrans personnel visited the site last year and the system operator marked the site for them.