State forgives $48.6K of Deerfield Fire District loan for water main replacement

  • The Deerfield Fire District on Old Main Street in Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/18/2022 6:04:27 PM
Modified: 1/18/2022 6:03:22 PM

DEERFIELD — As part of a state loan forgiveness program, the Deerfield Fire District is receiving nearly $50,000 to help pay down a 2020 loan taken out to replace approximately 3,800 linear feet of water main on Greenfield Road (Routes 5 and 10).

The district received a $739,928 loan in 2020 to undertake the project and the state will forgive $48,637, or about 6.6%, of the loan as part of a program from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust that awards grants to “cities, towns, counties and water utilities most in need of financial assistance to help pay for improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure,” according to the trust.

Deerfield Fire District Water Superintendent Brian Nartowicz said the help through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust is appreciated, but the last time the district received this sort of help from the state, it got a higher percentage of its loan forgiven.

“All money that’s free is helpful,” Nartowicz said. “I wish it was more.”

The water main replacement project, which is slated to end by May 1, aims to address water quality complaints stemming from “aged, heavily tuberculated water mains” and replace 25 lead goosenecks on service lines. The Deerfield Fire District, which serves 1,300 people in northern Deerfield through 348 connections, replaced a 6-inch water main from 1948 with an 8-inch high-density polyethylene pipe to alleviate water quality issues.

“It’ll help have not only a better flow, but a better quality,” Nartowicz said. “I think people are receiving much cleaner water now. … Hopefully it will last us 100 years.”

Nartowicz said the project is largely complete, except for a little spring cleaning.

“It’s just a cleanup in the spring,” he said.

In a statement, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who is also chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, said loan forgiveness grants help provide cleaner water to communities while allowing them to allocate money toward other local needs.

“Providing these funds saves significant dollars for our local communities while protecting the environment and the health of our citizens,” Goldberg said. “This $23.9 million investment is another wonderful example of the trust’s work helping our cities and towns, and most importantly, the people who live here.”

Deerfield is one of 33 cities and towns selected by the state for loan forgiveness, which granted more than $23.9 million across Massachusetts for drinking and wastewater infrastructure.


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