Deerfield passes debt exclusion for wastewater upgrades

  • The South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility. FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2019 11:59:37 AM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Voters opted overwhelmingly this week to take on debt to pay for upgrades to the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility at 150 Sunderland Road.

Residents voted 728-297 Monday in favor of a debt-exclusion override for the project, which voters earlier approved at the annual Town Meeting. Monday’s vote was specifically to take on debt for the work, which is anticipated to cost as much as $19 million. 

Residents rejected a debt-exclusion vote in June, forcing this vote. Selectboard Chairman Trevor McDaniel said the work is necessary to comply with environmental regulations and the town would have had to continue holding debt-exclusion votes until one passed.

McDaniel said Deerfield has secured a 40-year, approximately $8 million loan (at 2.125 percent interest) and a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He said the project’s first phase will cost about $11 million.

McDaniel expressed his gratitude to everyone who came out to vote Monday.

“It was a good turnout and a resounding positive vote for the wastewater infrastructure project,” he said in a statement. “I am so grateful for all the hard work that has been done by supporters to get out the vote and for all the election staff for a long day and all the town staff for working on this project for the last few years to get us to this point.”

“I am really excited to notify USDA of the positive vote and to accept the grant and loan on behalf of the residents of Deerfield,” he said. “We have a lot of hard work ahead, but this puts us in a good position to deal with the needs of the plant.”

Voters at annual Town Meeting approved $19 million for the entire project.

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