Town Manager’s Column – July 2018

ALL ABOUT TOWN
Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

How about that incredible heat during the first week in July? I do want to thank the Bennington Fire Department for “making it rain” for those few days when the temperatures were pushing triple digits with high humidity. I’ve heard that some of our police officers took a turn in the rain. Perhaps they were inspired by the Chief’s example on the slip and slide at Monument School.

This week, we opened bids for the second phase of the Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF) upgrade. The estimated total cost for this work is $5.37 million. The bids must be tabulated and compliance with the bid requirements confirmed by our engineers at Aldrich and Elliott. We will present the final tabulation to the Select Board at the July 23rd board meeting. Overall, it appears that the full project including the RBC work now underway will come in below the full bond amount.

The construction season continues to be very busy. The contractors working on the water system expansion dealing with the PFOA contamination are moving along with an October/November end date in mind. The Routes 7 and 9 State paving project is scheduled to start after July 30 here in Bennington. The contractor will pave from the Kocher Drive intersection with Route 7 south to the Park Lawn Cemetery and from the 4 Chimneys Inn through Old Bennington on east to the intersection of Route 279 and Route 9. The project is a mill and pave project. One lane traffic will be maintained, and no night work is contemplated. The State is also planning a similar paving project along Route 67A through a portion of North Bennington. I believe that work will start July 18. We continue our preparation for the Bennington project. You most likely noticed the great job the Town crews did on the Benmont Avenue bridge over the Walloomsac River. This work required milling the pavement; laying a membrane to seal the bridge surface; and repaving the surface. The project looks and feels great when driving over the bridge. There’s much more to do. Once again, this is a very busy time. Please bear with us.

The Summer Program, Camp Green Mountain, provided by the Berkshire Y at the Bennington Recreation Center is now underway. This is its second year. The program runs from July 2 until August 24, Monday through Friday, 9 AM until 4:30 PM. and is for grades 1-8. I am told that 354 children have signed up for this program. For more information, contact Kathy Mancini at kmancini@bfymca.org or call 413-663-6529, ext. 245. Information is available at the Bennington Recreation Center.

The Putnam Redevelopment Project moves ever closer to fruition. A recent press release indicated  the funding mechanisms are nearly in place. A Fall closing continues to be projected. I am so impressed by the perseverance of the Bennington Redevelopment Group (BRG). Made up of local institutions and private investors, this group has faced and leaped so many hurdles. This will be a transformative project.

I note here that some in this community, using social media, seem to want to tear down anything that may be good for this Town. Some of the posts contain blatant lies, innuendo, and charges of corruption with no basis.  It’s a sad commentary on the times. Unfortunately, it’s here to stay.

Remember, if anyone has any questions or suggestions arising from this column or on any town matters, please contact me at 442-1037 or stop in at the Town Offices on South Street.

Stuart Hurd is Bennington’s Town Manager. He writes a monthly column on town issues.