PEPPERELL -- As members met Oct. 18, the Board of Public Works examined water and sewer usage records for an Algonquin Street resident in response to a $714 sewer abatement request.

They spent the better part of an hour addressing the request said to be the result of a leaky exterior tap at the single-family home. After reviewing water usage records during 2011 and 2012, DPW director Kenneth Kalinowski explained that the excess water coming from the leakage did not enter the sewer system.

"The overall increase in water usage for the periods in question averaged out to about 0.14 gallons a minute, which would be consistent with a leaking faucet," said Kalinowski.

Board members agreed with Kalinowski's assessment. In keeping with past decisions, the board agreed that the water use was the responsibility of the home owner. Noting that the excess water did not enter the sewer system, the board computed the sewer abatement at $701.47.

The board also approved abatements of $19.59 for 3A Tucker Park, $344.78 for 23 Chace Ave, $55.38 for 26 Chace Ave and $91.77 for 51 West St. Kalinowski noted that these were all administrative requests due to incorrect meter reads resulting in billing errors.

Flushing underway

Kalinowski advised the board that fall hydrant flushing has begun and would continue temperature permitting. He noted that no complaints had been received for discolored tap water, although residents should be aware that such discoloration is common in some neighborhoods during this process.


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Sixty applicants

With the recent retirement of Administrative Assistant Cathy Knox, Kalinowski noted that his office had received more than 60 applications for the position. He expects interviews to begin in November, along with open positions for water and sewer operators.

Rate hearing planned for December

Superintendent Laurie Stevens prepped board members on the Revenue Projection and Rate Tool she would be using to develop various revenue and budget scenarios ahead of the public rate hearing planned for December.

Although the spreadsheet was not updated with current revenue data for water and sewer, it did provide board members with a preview of the tool and the process that would be used to come up with rate recommendations for the coming year.