Northampton OKs capital projects

  • The City Council approved several large capital projects at its meeting Thursday night.  — Stephanie McFeeters

Published: 4/9/2016 3:04:07 AM

NORTHAMPTON —  The City Council approved funding for several large projects on the Thursday night, including $1.35 million for wastewater treatment plant improvements, $585,000 for a fire truck and $500,000 for street resurfacing.

Mayor David Narkewicz also put forward several projects related to the city’s communication systems, as part of his capital plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Councilors approved $585,210 for projects related to replacing the city’s VOIP system of Internet-based phones and $375,000 for new radio consoles for the dispatch center, replacing worn-out machines that are in some cases being held together with duct tape, Narkewicz said.

Councilors also approved $225,000 for LED streetlights and appropriated $275,000 to fund several Northampton Public School projects: energy upgrades and brick work at the high school, front entrance and stair repair at Jackson Street Elementary School, tennis court resurfacing at JFK Middle School, and chimney repairs at Leeds Elementary School.

The money appropriated for street repairs will be used in conjunction with state Chapter 90 funds, Narkewicz said. He said the city has yet to determine which streets it will focus on next year, but the Department of Public Works will use an algorithm and public comment to determine which roads should get priority.

“There’s nothing we do that makes people happier than paving streets,” Ward 5 Councilor David Murphy said.

In a separate agenda item, councilors also approved on first reading Bottums Road as a public street, following a positive recommendation from the City Council’s Committee on Public Works and Utilities but a negative recommendation from the Planning Board.

Some councilors questioned whether their approval of Bottums Road means they should reconsider Center Court, which was denied public street status at a meeting in November.

The capital projects and Bottums Road decision will come before the council again on April 21, in second reading.

Stephanie McFeeters can be reached at smcfeeters@gazettenet.com.


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