AYER -- Much to the relief of Ayer Shirley Regional School District Superintendent Carl Mock and members of the school committee, Ayer selectmen approved a request that the town waive the $35,000 water hook-up fee associated with the renovation of Ayer Shirley Regional High School.
Mock said in a July 8 letter to Ayer Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand and DPW Superintendent Mark Wetzel that he was requesting the waiver of the fee, recently submitted with the permit application by ASRSD's construction management firm and site-work subcontractor, because the project is for improvements to town property.
In addition, he said Tuesday night, the water hook-up is not for a new or augmented service, but rather for a replacement or upgrade of the existing system.
"The volume of water will probably be less due to smaller capacity," he stated.
In addition, local permitting fees are not reimbursable by the Massachusetts State Building Authority (MSBA).
"A year ago when we were putting together the final project for the MSBA project manager and design team, we had not budgeted for this item," he explained to the Board.
Mock said in his letter that it is common for towns to waive the fees for such projects. He added that because the project budget does not include funds for fees and permitting, paying the hook-up fee would result in cuts in other areas of the project.
Ayer Finance Committee Chairman Scott Houde said that he had not yet discussed the issue with his committee, "but we don't generally charge for the service for own buildings."
Wetzel added that the town usually charges the fee to serve a new customer for items such as new storage tanks and hook-ups.
"This is an existing use, and they are putting in a new service to make their existing connection better, so it is not really having an impact on our infrastructure," he said.
The waiver was approved in a 5-0 vote.