And now the opportunity of a lifetime has presented itself …
The Town of Westford began its search for wastewater capacity in the Westford Town Center in 2008. At that time, the Town’s objective was to find an area in the Town Center with soils suitable to support the existing municipal and community buildings (Town Office, Public Library, Brick Meeting House and United Church of Westford), existing dwellings with failing wastewater disposal systems and future residential and commercial development in the heart of town.
In 2008, the Town of Westford received a grant from the VT Dept. of Environmental Conservation to conduct a wastewater feasibility study for the Town Center Area. The Town worked with Stone Environmental Inc., Green Mountain Engineering Inc., and Yellow Wood Associates to develop the Town Center Area Community Wastewater Disposal Alternative Study (2008).
The report identified six potential community wastewater locations in the Town Center Area.
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Area 1 – Identified the Jackson Farm and adjoining land to the north as a potential location.
Status: Conducting further analysis.
Area 2 – Identified the Jackson Farm as a potential location.
Status: Further analysis on hold. Conducting analysis of Area 1.
Area 3 – Identified Town Property (known as Spiller Lot) & adjoining land to the south as a potential location.
Status: Abandoned. Property studied in 2012. Suitable soils were not found. For more information view Town of Westford Property – Wastewater Capacity Report (Spiller Lot – 2012). NOTE: The Town plans to retain the right to connect to the existing three bedroom wastewater system on-site if as such time the system serving the Town Office and Public Library fails.
Area 4 – Identified the Town Property (known as the Town Common) as a potential location.
Status: Abandoned. Property unsuitable for wastewater disposal.
Area 5 – Identified a private property as a potential location.
Status: Abandoned. Property located in the Flood Hazard Area.
Area 6 – Identified a private property as a potential location.
Status: Abandoned. Property located at far-side of Browns River and is isolated from existing development.
In 2014, the Town of Westford received a grant from the VT Dept. of Housing & Community Development to conduct a field analysis of municipal and community owned property surrounding the Town Common that was not already ruled out based on analysis and/or site restrictions (e.g. Brick Meeting House, Upper Common and United Church of Westford).
The Town worked with Stone Environmental Inc. to develop the Town Common Area – Wastewater Capacity Report (2014).
To the Town and Church’s great surprise the area behind the United Church of Westford property showed promise with enough capacity to serve the Brick Meeting House, Town Offices, Public Library and White Church with some remaining capacity to serve an additional use or two. While this area may be a solution for the wastewater disposal needs of the existing municipal and community buildings in Town. The economic feasibility of blasting the ledge located between the buildings in need and the area containing capacity in order to install the necessary piping while ensuring the structural integrity of the United Church of Westford is still unknown and needs to be further studied. And the United Church of Westford graciously agreed to allow the Town to further pursue the possibility of community wastewater system on the Church property.
In 2015, voters approved funding to hire Stone Environmental Inc. to conduct Phase 2 of the United Church of Westford Community Wastewater Project. Phase 2 will determine the maximum possible capacity, determine economic feasibility given the ledge present on-site, develop wastewater designs and prepare for state permitting.
Phase 2 has been placed on hold, however, because Lynn and David Gauthier approached the Town in 2015 with an opportunity of a lifetime regarding the Jackson Farm—the Town has decided to further study the property.
At this time, the Town reserves the United Church of Westford property as an alternative solution, but finds the benefits of the Jackson Farm’s capacity potentially more beneficial and cost effective over the long term.