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WVN #511: Funding unclear on vital well improvements

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  • waylandvoters1
    Dear Wayland Voter, Historic flooding three years ago endangered some of Wayland s water wells and made improvements a priority. Important upgrades are being
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2013
      Dear Wayland Voter,

      Historic flooding three years ago endangered some of Wayland's water wells and made improvements a priority. Important upgrades are being made. But the financing is unclear.

      Also in this newsletter:

      -- Wayland's much-praised high school principal is leaving to head a school in Boston.

      -- The Board of Selectmen filled a number of appointive vacancies, in some cases without interviewing all candidates. If you're interested in serving the town, see the remaining vacancies below.


      During historic flooding in March 2010 the Sudbury River came within inches of wiping out the Happy Hollow wells, which provide about 50% of Wayland's drinking water. Moving the wells out of the floodplain was an identified priority. Wayland has moved the wells, but how this was financed is unclear. Now a new chemical safety controls facility needs to be constructed to service those wells, and the price tag is more than the town has allocated.

      After a state inspection, Wayland's Department of Public Works began requesting funding for improvements based on a five-year capital plan calling for spending $100,000 each year.

      In its May 2013 Sanitary Survey, the Department of Environmental Protection instructed Wayland to upgrade the pump stations with chemical safety controls that serve the five drinking water wells not connected to the Baldwin treatment plant. The deadline is October 2014.

      The installation of three new Happy Hollow replacement wells was completed in 2012. The DPW had received approval for the new wells after a Dec. 15, 2011 Conservation Commission public hearing. The DPW indicated it would return later for permitting the new chemical feed station. See meeting minutes, starting at bottom of page 1: http://www.wayland.ma.us/pages/WaylandMA_ConservationMin/2011%20Minutes/December%2015,%202011%20Final%20Approved%20Minutes.pdf

      The public record does not seem to show, however, a DPW request or a capital budget line item seeking Town Meeting approval to pay for three new replacement Happy Hollow wells.

      A legal ad seeking bids for a new Happy Hollow wells chemical feed station was published in the May 16, 2013 Wayland Town Crier by Facilities Director John Moynihan before DPW Director Don Ouellette had secured project approval from the Conservation Commission. The new facility was intentionally designed to be built outside the ConCom's wetlands jurisdiction.

      But the piping connecting to the new wells would still be within the Commission's jurisdiction. DEP also has required a permanent emergency generator; previously a diesel-powered portable generator was used, leading to the possibility of fuel spills contaminating the wells. In December 2011 the plan was to connect the generator to the new high school's gas line for its fuel supply.

      Bids for the Happy Hollow chemical feed station were received by June 13:

      That same evening, the DPW's Tata & Howard consultant presented the Happy Hollow chemical feed station proposal to the Conservation Commission. The commission made suggestions to the consultant but did not immediately approve the project. The bids came in far over budget, around $700,000, and all were rejected.

      The DPW director had hoped to use unspent funds from other appropriations, but they are not available. The Department of Revenue has specific rules on what can be carried over from year to year and use of funds designated for other purposes.

      WVN asked Ouellette and two Board of Public Works members on June 26:

      Which pump stations servicing our non-Baldwin wells have been upgraded so far?
      When was the work done and who performed it?
      How much was spent in each case?
      How much did it cost to install the three replacement Happy Hollow wells?
      When was the work done and who performed it?
      What account was used to pay for the new HH wells?

      Ouellette responded on July 1: "We have completed installing the three new Wells at happy hollow, we have installed a new pump and cleaned the well at Campbell, and we've installed a variable frequency drive at Chamberlain. We've obviously paid for the (chemical feed station) engineering at happy hollow, and we are working on the engineering for both Campbell and Chamberlain Wells."

      How the new Happy Hollow wells were financed was not explained. The amounts spent on the pump station upgrades and who performed the work were not provided. Instead, Ouellette offered WVN the opportunity to review 30 pages of year-to-date accounting reports and to call him with questions.

      Finance Director/Town Accountant Brian Keveny had asked department heads for the status of unfinished capital improvement projects. Some projects have been carried forward, not completed, for several years, and the reasons vary. Department heads provided explanations in June. DPW Director Don Ouellette's June 5 memo explained 10 such scenarios but didn't mention the water wells capital projects.

      Further background:

      For 2014 compliance deadline, scroll down to Deficiencies, bottom of page 16:

      The following Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) forms and Town Meeting warrants are public record of requested improvements to the Wayland water distribution system approved each year by town meeting voters:

      Happy Hollow Wells:

      2011 CIP form, scroll down to page 23:
      Described that DEP requires upgrades to the Happy Hollow chemical feed station and moving the HH wells out of the floodplain. $100K was requested.

      2011 ATM warrant, scroll down to page 45: http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_Selectmen/FinalWarrant2011.pdf
      Described $100K for upgrading the chemical feed station.

      Chamberlain Well:

      2012 CIP form, scroll down to page 27:
      Described $100K requested for the Chamberlain pump station

      2012 ATM warrant, scroll down to pages 61-62:
      Described need for $100K to upgrade the Chamberlain chemical feed station. It also noted the previous year's $100K had not been spent yet on the Happy Hollow chemical feed station while waiting for the new Happy Hollow wells to be installed.

      Campbell Well:

      2013 CIP form, scroll down page 64:
      http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_Finance/CIPFY14FY18.pdf scroll down to pg. 64:
      Described $300K requested to upgrade the Campbell Well chemical feed station.

      2013 ATM warrant, scroll down to page 60:
      Described need for $300K to upgrade Campbell well pump station. No explanation for why this request is three times higher than in previous years.

      -- Linda Segal


      Wayland High School's Patrick Tutwiler announced his resignation on July 1 after serving as its principal for six years. He will become headmaster at Brighton High School where he started his career as an educator.. Given the relatively short notice, Superintendent Paul Stein has begun looking for an Interim principal for the coming academic year.

      When Tutwiler joined Wayland's administrative staff in 2007, he was a doctoral candidate at Boston College. He had received his master's degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and his bachelor's degree from The College of the Holy Cross. He earned his doctorate last year. Tutwiler oversaw the transition during the construction and opening of Wayland's new high school facility.

      -- WVN Staff


      At its June 24 meeting, the Board of Selectmen concluded its annual interviews for candidates seeking appointment or reappointment to serve in Wayland town government. In some cases, despite board policy calling for interviews for the Conservation Commission, Finance Committee, Personnel Board and Zoning Board, not everyone appeared for the interviews listed on the Selectmen's meeting agenda. Selectmen also voted to create a second alternate position on the Historic District Commission.

      The following residents were appointed to serve in town government positions new to them:

      Jim Grumbach - Economic Development Committee
      Gretchen Schuler - Community Preservation Committee (not interviewed)
      Douglas Goddard - Permanent Municipal Building Committee
      Betty Salzberg - Conservation Commission
      Sherre Greenbaum - Conservation Commission
      Gil Wolin - Finance Committee
      Leslie Corner, Shirley Jacobson, Kathryn Lee and Gail Shapiro - Wayland Cares Temporary
      Advisory Study Committee
      Bill DeJong - Wayland Cares Temporary Advisory Study Committee (not interviewed)

      The following residents were reappointed to boards on which they had been serving:

      Nancy McCarthy - Personnel Board (not interviewed)
      Thomas White - Zoning Board of Appeals (not interviewed)
      Michael Connors - Zoning Board of Appeals, Associate Member (not interviewed)
      William Steinberg - Finance Committee

      Steven Glovsky says he was not notified of date/time for his FinCom interview and missed the opportunity to be considered. A few other candidates have told WVN that they also had not received written confirmation telling them date/time of the interview but found out some other way.

      The following residents were appointed by the selectmen without interviews as designated representatives of other town boards:

      Elisa Scola - Community Preservation Committee, representing the Historical Commission
      Ira Montague - Community Preservation Committee, representing the Planning Board
      Betty Salzberg - Housing Partnership, representing the Planning Board

      Anyone interested in these remaining vacancies in town government should contact the selectmen's office:

      Board of Assessors
      Commissioner of Trust Funds
      Council on Aging
      Economic Development Committee
      Historic District Commission, Alternate
      Housing Partnership
      Permanent Municipal Building Committee
      Wastewater Management District Commission

      -- WVN Staff


      On Thursday, Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m., at the Wayland Senior Center, Wayland GIS Coordinator Brendan Decker will repeat his well-attended June 24 Library presentation explaining how the town's online GIS (geographic information system) works. Decker explained how residents can use the system to identify features, measure distances, and use map layers to display a variety of geographic features. Attendees learned how to create maps with text, save the maps, and print them out, and how to get information on specific properties. A tremendous amount of information about Wayland is loaded onto the system in different layers. He showed other system features that allow analysis of town geographic data. Decker is a certified GIS professional with a bachelor of science in analytical cartography from Ohio State University, and 15 years of GIS job experience in both the public and private sectors.

      MEETING CALENDAR: All meetings are held in Town Building, unless otherwise noted. Click on town website calendar dates to access posted meeting agendas: http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/index

      Thursday, July 4 - TOWN BUILDING CLOSED

      Monday, July 8:

      Board of Selectmen, 7 p.m.
      Board of Public Works, 7 p.m.
      Board of Health, 7 p.m., Public hearing about fluoridation of town water
      Wastewater Management District Commission, 9 p.m.; Executive Session about the impact of
      DEP's Administrative Consent Order (ACO) on the town center developer litigation

      Tuesday, July 9:

      8 a.m. Council on Aging
      8:20 p.m. Zoning Board of Appeals
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