City of Hatfield officials hear litany of complaints over water and sewer project

Posted: 10/28/2022 1:24:52 PM

Modified: 10/28/2022 1:24:38 PM

HATFIELD – Several times over the past two years Craig Stevens’ property on West Street has been inundated with several inches of mud during the National Road water and sewer extension project.

There’s also been construction waste ending up near his home, and the sounds of daily work that Stevens describes as “torture” for the people who live there.

“There’s noise all night long,” Stevens told the Select Board at its Tuesday meeting.

He was among several residents who asked council to pay more attention to the issues. “You should freak out,” Stevens said.

According to Michael Carmasine, project engineer for Comprehensive Environmental Inc. of Marlborough.

“Hopefully we will see a much better road in the coming weeks,” Carmasine said.

Carmasine said Geeleher Enterprises Inc. of Southampton, as the contractor, will also install the new sewage pumping station by Thanksgiving.

Frustrations have grown for residents as they face plans to extend sewer service on Route 5 from Linseed Road to Rocks Road, and water service for 2,200 feet along Route 5 south of Rocks Road, with a $2 million grant from the MassWorks infrastructure program the city first sought in 2014.

Problems have included a gas leak in October 2021, homes shaking at all hours of the day, and construction equipment left on lawns and properties over weekends and holidays.

The Virginia Township of 37 West St. said it was concerned about deep sinkholes near its property and the contractor’s response had been inadequate.

“The way they treat us is part of our anger. The disrespect is so unbelievable,” Canton said.

Board chair Diana Szynal said she was disappointed to hear the complaints.

“I’m really, really sorry that you’re all going through this and it’s taking so long, I know it’s tiring for everyone,” Szynal said.

Highway manager Phil Genovese said he is having conversations with Geeleher and Warner Brothers to ensure that once milling and paving is complete, all equipment is removed, along with debris, of all lawns and private property. Szynal said he should be the go-to person if there is a problem.

Board member Brian Moriarty said as city officials they owe residents another walk through the neighborhood.

With paving and other work completed this fall, the project will enter its third construction season in the spring of 2023.

City Administrator Marlene Michonski said the city is also seeking nearly $1 million more from the state for costs incurred related to the project.

Susan Berry of Old Stage Road, owner of 34-36 West St. where the Waxwing restaurant is located, took the opportunity to again voice her concerns about the project. While Berry said it’s a horrific situation with paving delays residents are experiencing, she fears that in the long term, restoration activity will be affected.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to live with a raw sewage pumping station in a restaurant parking lot,” Berry said.

Scott Merzbach can be contacted at [email protected]

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