The Waitsfield Select Board is expected to approve a request to take the next steps in creating a municipal wastewater system for Waitsfield Village and Irasville, and potentially other adjacent areas.
At its January 23, 2023, meeting next week, the board will consider the request from members of the town’s water and wastewater study committee to amend its agreement with Dubois and King, authorizing the engineering firm to complete a preliminary engineering report (PER) and environmental information document (EID).
Dubois and King completed a $79,000 feasibility study on municipal wastewater and water in December 2022. That cost was covered by a forgivable loan and the cost of creating the PER and EID, $120,664 will meet the state’s funding requirements for another forgivable loan.
The PER will be completed by June 9, 2023, with a draft ready for review on May 23.
In that PER engineers will develop wastewater alternatives and phasing solutions for differing capacities under the state guidelines for both a decentralized cluster system with capacity for 50,000 gallons per day and a publicly-owned treatment works with capacity for another 50,000 to 87,500 gallons per day.
In a memo to the select board, water/wastewater committee members planning commissioner Bob Cook, select board member Chach Curtis, and water commission chair Robin Morris explained the PER will provide the select board with the data to decide which of the preferred alternatives should proceed to the design phase. The design phase would be followed by a bond vote prior to the construction phase.
Specifically, Dubois and King will evaluate and develop preliminary plans for:
- Wastewater collection system in Irasville distributed to the Munn disposal site.
- Potential connection of properties south of Irasville to the nearest pump station.
- Preliminary wastewater treatment system plans will be developed for the Munn
disposal site for the preferred treatment system alternative.
- Alternatives for delivery of wastewater from the village residential and village business districts to either the collection system in Irasville (and ultimately to the Munn site for treatment and disposal), or to an expanded Waitsfield Elementary School disposal system.
- Water service connections for the purpose of eliminating conflicts between well shields and leach fields and to free up additional potential on-site disposal capacity on lots not connected to the community wastewater system in the village residential, village business, and Irasville districts.
DuBois and King will develop a preliminary opinion of probable construction costs, operations budget, and project cost summary for the collection and treatment alternatives and phasing of the system build out, including two to three funding scenarios.
The report will include an updated project schedule for final design, permitting, bid, and construction. Per the feasibility study, the select board will make a decision on a preferred alternative/alternatives this year and voters could see a bond vote at Town Meeting 2024.
According to Dubois and King engineers, Waitsfield is the largest town in Vermont to be without a municipal wastewater system. The town’s municipal water system is a decade old.
Waitsfield, like many Vermont towns, is taking advantage of the millions of American Rescue Plan Act funds that the state has earmarked for water and wastewater systems throughout the state. In addition to the forgivable loans to study and engineer water and wastewater systems, there are state and federal programs with low interest, long-term loans as well as a state revolving loan fund for water and wastewater systems.