Council awards bid for WPC fiber connection project

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

At the final town council meeting before the municipal election, the outgoing council unanimously approved awarding a $105,250 contract to Progress Engineering, LLC (Manchester, Maine), to provide the necessary equipment to the water pollution control treatment plant. This includes four pump stations to allow them to communicate with each other after the fiber optics network is installed.

The pump station portion of the project was originally estimated at $150,000. Progress Engineering submitted a bid for $99,800, and estimated that for $5,450 they would be able to provide two variable frequency drives for the Mountain View pump station.

“That pump station used to have those variable frequency drives which saves power,” said town manager Robert Lee, “but because of some issues that came up and because of lack of funds, they changed it back to just on and off switches. They’re looking to do that at the same time.”

When originally put forth, the fiber optic project was estimated to cost $711,878, to be funded through $200,000 from the capital improvement budget (already budgeted and appropriated), $250,000 from the sewer fund, and $24,260 from the state E-Rate reimbursement.

“The remaining amount, which as part of the original estimate which was $237,616 is yet to be finalized, however given the savings in the make ready and the equipment for the pump stations, this amount could eventually be reduced to $103,866,” said Lee.

Plainville recycling

Over the summer, the town entered into a two-year contract with Bristol Resource Recovery Facility Operating Committee (BRRFOC) and Murphy Road LLC, in response to the news that municipalities will no longer receive a credit for recycling, but rather, will have to pay per ton of recycled materials that are picked up.

Plainville was one of 14 communities to sign the contract, including Bristol, Berlin, Branford, Burlington, Hartland, New Britain, Plymouth, Prospect, Seymour, Southington, Warren, Washington, and Wolcott.

At the time, it was budgeted that the town would pay approximately $80 per ton, but it was understood that that number could fluctuate depending upon the recycling market. A total of $65,000 per year was budgeted, which translates to 1,600 tons per year (400 tons per quarter).

As of Sept. 30, Murphy Road has already picked up approximately 326 tons of recycling, but the cost per ton was approximately $87. To date, the town has expended $28,485.36 on recycling.

“Unfortunately we budgeted a tonnage that ended up coming in…higher than what we anticipated,” said Lee. “I expect that we’ll go over in budget as far as that number (cost) is concerned but perhaps not as far as the tonnages is concerned.”

Corporate Ave. project

Lee explained that in January 2019, the council approved to abandon a portion of Corporate Avenue “in order to allow for the development of a parcel of land located along Northwest Drive, owned by FCP-TWO LLC.” FCP-TWO LLC., has requested the abandonment of an additional 1,800 square foot parcel to be utilized by a potential tenant. This action was unanimously approved by the town council.

Town Manager talks

The town manger has scheduled three Town Manager Conversations, to be held at the Plainville Library, 56 E Main St., from 6 to 8 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 14, Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Thursday, Jan. 16. Lee will be joined by Plainville Community Schools superintendent Steven LePage in November, and Plainville police chief Matthew Catania in December. Hours will be a drop-in format on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are required.

Council meeting change

The newly elected town council will hold an organizational meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m., and will meet for their regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.