April 23, 2018
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Brewer to connect homes with contaminated water to new water line

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — City leaders Tuesday night approved connecting residences on Wiswell Road and Elm Street that have contaminated water to a water main that soon will run by their homes en route to the new Brewer Business and Commerce Park.

“Since 2006 the city has been providing 16 properties with bottled water to address contamination found in their wells until a long term solution could be found,” the council order states.

“The city offered the owners of the affected properties the opportunity to hook up to the public water source at no cost to them and to have their minimum quarterly water bills covered by the city for up to five years”

A utility extension project is under way on Green Point Road and Elm Street and the city’s Public Works Department will construct a 1,300-foot water line extension up Wiswell Road at a cost of up to $60,000 to reach the affected residents.

Some of the residents affected were upset when they heard they no longer would be getting free bottled water and signed a petition calling the solution “unacceptable.” Several voiced their concerns at last month’s City Council meeting.

No one spoke for or against the council order on Tuesday and the board unanimously approved it without comment.

During the meeting, councilors also discussed accepting the deed for the old Washington Street School, which is the first of four recently closed schools to be transferred to the city now that the new Brewer Community School has opened.

City Councilor Jerry Goss, who also is a Brewer High School district trustee, said the trustees made two requests when they sent over the deed.

“One is that the property be demolished as soon as possible,” before it becomes a safety issue, he told fellow councilors.

He also asked that the city give a storage shed on the property to the historical society.

“They would put it to good use,” Goss said.

Fellow councilors agreed it would be a good idea. After councilors accepted the old school, it was conveyed to the Brewer Redevelopement LLC, a city-owned limited liability corporation.

During the meeting, the board also:

• Recognized 40-year volunteer John Goodness for his service with the Brewer Library Association.

• Extended by two years a zoning change for a Brewer Housing Authority senior housing project planned for Chamberlain Street and approved a second zoning change that modifies the need for a traffic island at the junction of Abbot and South Main streets.

• Purchased a 1989 compactor for the landfill to replace the 1975 model that is in need of major repairs. “We were looking at a cost of around $125,000” to repair the 36-year-old machine, public works director Dave Cote said. The newer compactor, which will have a new engine, will cost the city $150,000. New machines are around $400,000, he said.

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