Fall River got $2.5 million from MassWorks — here's where water, sewer upgrades are planned

·2 min read

FALL RIVER — A $2.5 million grant was awarded to the city that will be used to upgrade needed water and sewer infrastructure to service the Industrial Park and North End neighborhoods.

The funding from a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant was announced last week.

“It’s a great start point,” said Mayor Paul Coogan. “As the Industrial Park and the South Coast Technology Park expands there is more demand for that water and sewer service.”

Paul Ferland, the city’s director of community utilities, said the sewer pumping station that will be redesigned for a total project cost of approximately $7 million was originally built in the 1970’s when the industrial park was established.

“The park has grown and the residential has grown in the area. The whole entire area has increased in capacity, but the pump station hasn’t,” said Ferland.

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Also included in the project is an upgrade to the water system with the installation of a back-up water pumping station. Presently the city has a portable system, said Ferland, and if a failure occurs, it takes time to put in place.

Ferland applied for the MassWorks grant two years ago which was originally denied until the recent award.

Most of the balance of the cost of the project is coming from the $123 million bond passed by voters in 2017 to upgrade the city’s aging wastewater treatment facilities.

Last month Coogan announced plans to spend nearly $9 million on water main replacement from the city’s expected windfall of $69 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

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While the water and sewer departments are seeing a surge in grants and federal rescue funding, the City Council still has not voted on increases in water and sewer rates which has impacted the utilities revenue stream.

The issue, which has been before the City Council since March, will again be before the Committee on Ordinances for a sixth try at getting the increases approved.

Jo C. Goode may be reached at jgoode@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism and subscribe to The Herald News today!

This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Fall River to use $2.5 million MassWorks grant for water, sewer upgrades