PEPPERELL -- A former Fire Department ambulance will soon be back on the road, but this time in the service of the Department of Public Works as a camera inspection vehicle.
"The vehicle is being modified in house to perform as a support vehicle for the camera equipment for the closed circuit TV equipment for sewer inspections," said DPW Director Kenneth Kalinowski.
"I think these vehicles make excellent starting points for this type of conversion," he said.
The vehicle is expected to enter service soon and according to Kalinowski, "it will be a nice addition to the fleet." The vehicle was purchased by the DPW from the Fire Department at its trade-in value.
The Sewer Division recently received a Maia grant for $5,000 that will enable purchase of a portable by-pass pump. The pump which has a total cost of $15,000 will be used to avoid backups at pumps stations. The grant, from the town's insurer, is seen as an investment as sewer backups can result in costly payouts by insurers.
The Townsend Street and Mason Street water tanks are in the process of being inspected and cleaned. Exterior cleaning was completed recently with the internal cleaning process being scheduled over the next two weeks. The internal cleaning will be performed by divers. Use of divers eliminates the need for empty two million gallons of treated water from the tanks and will not interrupt water service to the ratepayers.
Kalinowski also announced that the town has
The board was notified that longtime Chief Water Operator Matt Walsh had submitted his resignation effective Sept. 28. Walsh, who has worked for the town for the past 12 years, is heading to a new role in the Acton Water District.
"He has been a valued employee throughout his tenure here," said Kalinowski.
"I hope that everybody will join me in wishing him nothing but the best of luck in this new endeavor," he said.
Kalinowski expects only two warrant articles to be sponsored by the DPW at this fall's Town Meeting. Kalinowski is hoping for the town's approval for the purpose of a $48,000 woodchipper capable of handling 12-inch wide trunks and branches. A backup generator is also being sought at a cost of $19,500.
In response to a request from Commissioner Patrick McNabb for more information on the need for the chipper, Kalinowski explained the costs associated with renting similar equipment.
"It's one of those pieces of equipment you don't use every day, but when you need a chipper, you need a chipper and you don't want to wait in line with everyone else," said Kalinowski.
"We were renting them from a local company and I think we wound up going through three of them because they kept breaking -- they were just so worn out and so tired -- they were old machine," he said.
Last October the DPW spent approximately $6,000 for chipper rental fees and another $12,000 for manually hauling away debris to a DPW facility.
The board approved abatement requests for Arrow Septic and Drain and Bancroft Septic Services for $29.10. According to Kalinowski, the abatements were to reconcile an ongoing billing issue. The board also approved an abatement in the amount of $541.