Marblehead FinCom approves $4.9M three-year downtown drainage plan

MARBLEHEAD – The Finance Committee will recommend Town Meeting approval of the Water and Sewer Commission?s proposed three-year, $4.9 million downtown drainage plan.The drainage project is expected to end the flooding of parks, businesses and homes that occurred most recently in the Oct. 4 rainstorm.Committee members had their March 28 questions answered Monday night by Water and Sewer Superintendent Charles McCollum, Assistant Superintendent Amy McHugh and consultant Scott Miller, who provided them with a detailed year-by-year breakdown of the financial plan, which includes $2.9 million in Fiscal Year 2013, $800,000 in Fiscal Year 2014 and $1.2 million in Fiscal Year 2015. The details included 5 percent contingency amounts for each year and 2? percent allowances for inflation.The March meeting left some questions unanswered for the FinCom but Vice Chairmen Trish Moore and Moses Grader said an April 2 meeting led to the answers presented Monday night.?I really appreciate the layout,” said FinCom Chairman David Harris. “This is the kind of thing townspeople will be looking for. You?ve broken out all the costs. This is very straightforward.”Harris asked if the project could be completed sooner. McCollum explained that downtown drain work required the contractor to shut down key streets and only one key street can be shut down at a time. He also pointed out that the town can only spend each year?s share of the project cost for that year.Deirdre Robbins, who lives in the affected neighborhood, praised the Water and Sewer department for “a good job.”?This really needs to be done,” she said.Moore pointed out that the work is budgeted with the assumption that no Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money will be available, but “They?re going to aggressively go after a FEMA grant.”

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