Archive for the ‘Reading MA’ Category

What’s Happening in the Merrimack Valley for Fun?

When you buy a home, you consider what the area has to offer – places to go and things to do for you.  Here are some of what is coming up in the Merrimac Valley – The options are endless – check the Greater Merrimack Valley Visitors Center website – www.merrimackvalley.org/

Or visit the Patch websites for many of the surrounding towns – http://www.patch.com/

Acton

Discovery Museum – Saturday, Februay 1st at 5:30pm – “Especially for Me” – a free evening for families with children on the autism spectrum – how music therapy can help

Discovery Mucseum – Wednesday January 29th – all day events for National Puzzle Day

Discovery Museum –  Thursday January 30th 10am – celebrating Chinese New Year – the year of the horse

Chelmsford

Chelmsford Agway –  Winter Farmers Market – Saturday January 25th

Concord

Veriill Farm – February 1st 9am – Pancake Breakfast – get entered into drawign for Verrill Farm BBQ for 4

Concord Museum – Monday February 17th 1pm – A visith with Abraham Lincoln

Dracut

Four Oaks Country Club – Saturday January 25th 9am – “Blizzard Blast Race” – 5k Winter Obstacle Run

Lowell

The Old Court Restaurant and Pub – Monday January 27th 7pm – “The Art of Wine Painting Party” – fundraiser to support Catie’s Closet (provides basic necessities to children in need)

Lowell Memorial Auditorium – Friday January 24th thru Sunday January 26th  – “Sesame Street Live”

Lowell Kids Week – February 17th thru February 24th

Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell – Thursday February 13th 7pm – Harlem Glovetrotters

Annual Lowell Winterfest –  February 21st and 22nd

North Reading

North Reading High School – Friday January 31st 7:30pm –  “Xanadu, a musical”

Westford

Westford Chorus – Winter Concert – January 25th 7:30pm

Wilmington

Wilmington Voices – 2 day Capella Festival – January 31st and February 1st 7pm – Wilmington Middle School

And for all your real estate needs contact Joan Parcewski, Realtor and Notary – Woods Real Estate www.JoanParcewski.com     office 978-262-9665     or   cell  978-376-3978  or email   joan@woodsre.com

Here to serve veterans seniors, first time home buyers, investors and more – YOU are MY PRIORITY!

It’s All About Conserving

The following information is taken directly from the Reading Patch online news:

Reading Water and Sewer Rates to Rise in September; Bills Depend on Use by Nadine Wandzilak

Conservation does save money.

The town’s water and sewer rates are up, to take effect with this coming September’s bill, but the amount that individual bills will increase depends on how much water each resident uses – and how much he or she conserves.

The Board of Selectmen last month approved an 11.4 percent increase in the combined water and sewer rate.

People look at the water and sewer rate as how much more they’ll pay, Assistant Town Manager for Finance Robert LeLacheur told Patch. But your bill equals the rate times your usage, he emphasized.

And Reading as a whole does conserve water, LeLacheur said. The town uses less water, per person, he said, than many communities with it in the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority system.

With questions and comments about the rate increase posed to Patch, LeLacheur spoke with us yesterday about the effect of the rate increase on bills.

The median combined water and sewer bill in Reading right now is $1,200, LeLacheur said. If people who pay that amount use the same amount of water in the coming year, they would pay 11.4 percent more, or a total of $1,338. But if they reduce their water use by five percent, they would pay $1,270, he said. If they use 11 percent less water this coming year, LeLacheur said, their bill would remain $1,200.

The water and sewer rate picture has a number of moving parts. If people use less water than officials anticipate, the town collects less in its water fund. That’s why the selectmen voted last month to use $200,000 from a water reserve fund, and the same amount from a sewer reserve fund, to keep the rate from increasing more significantly next fiscal year.

The funds are also down, LeLacheur told the selectmen, because people are paying their water and sewer bills on time, reducing the fee the town collects on late payments.

The water rate will rise from $8.27 per 100 cubic feet to $8.96 per hundred cubic feet; the sewer rate, from $8.57 to $9.80 per hundred cubic feet.

People have also commented to Patch on the taste and smell of the water, which has been coming from the MWRA since May of 2006.

At that time, the town turned to the MWRA to help meet peak summer water demand, according to Peter Tassi, supervisor of the town’s water quality and supply.

The town started to buy all of its water from the MWRA, instead of the Ipswich River watershed, in September, 2006, Tassi said.

Tassi said he didn’t receive calls about the smell or taste of the water then, or recently.

The smell and taste of the water can change, he said, for several reasons.  Hydrant flushing, for example, which started recently. Or water line flushing, which is done every spring.

Or when the water comes from an open reservoir, like the MWRA supply, rather than underground, as from the town’s former local water source. When the open water gets cold, it becomes denser, and sinks, Tassi said, and water from the bottom of the reservoir rolls up to the surface. Some people are more sensitive than others, he said, to those changes.

Cap Wells and Permanently Give Up Reading’s Right to Draw Water from Ipswich?

The following article appeared in the Reading-North Reading Patch (author Nadine Wandzilak).  Reading opted to give up getting their water from the Ipswich and instead joined the MWRA due to cost concerns to build a new water treatment plant. 

Likelihood of using Ipswich water ‘zero,’ town manager says.

Should the town permanently abandon and cap the wells that used to draw water from the Ipswich River Basin before Reading joined the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) for its water and razed its water treatment plant?

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is “interested in making permanent the inability of Reading to withdraw water from our former well fields in the future and, therefore, to maintain, at the very least, the current health of the river,” according to a memo from Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner to the Board of Selectmen.

Beyond the wells, the town would have to permanently relinquish its right to draw water from the river basin.

Two members of the state agency spoke with the selectmen last week.

“The potential use of the wells is,” Hechenbleikner wrote in a memo to the Board of Selectmen, “very remote.”  That’s because the MWRA is operationally strong, he wrote, in responding to emergency issues. “The likelihood of Reading taking water out of the Ipswich,” he said, is zero.”

If the town ever had to use the wells in an emergency, the water quality would be poor, according to the town manager – maybe even undrinkable. With the former water treatment plant now a field, the town would need approval – and a significant amount of money – to build a new one. The cost: $20 to $30 million, according to Deputy Regional Director of the Northeast Regional Office of MassDEP Eric Worrall. Going to the MWRA for its water is less expensive than building a new water treatment plant, Hechenbleikner said.

The town has kept the wells because the state environmental agency required them as an emergency water supply.

“That means that the pump station had to be modified at significant cost and the wells had to all be kept operable,” according to Hechenbleikner.  The town has not spent “a lot of money” to keep the wells operable.

Over the life of the town’s Capital Improvement Plan, “we will spend significant funds to recondition the wells at an estimated cost of $75,000” for each of nine wells, according to Hechenbleikner.

“It drives me crazy” to spend money on “a system with no value,” he said.

The Ipswich River is much healthier since Reading stopped withdrawing its public water supply, the town manager said. But “it is still an endangered river.”

Hechenbleikner suggested that the town abandon the six wells with the least favorable water quality immediately, and the three with the most favorable water quality when the MWRA’s back-up water supply is connected and operating, in two to three years.

The selectmen took no action on the issue. They were concerned, they said, about permanently giving up the right to draw water from the river. Several said they were concerned that other communities will take the water Reading is not drawing from the river. No, said the DEP representatives, and new, stricter water withdrawal regulations are coming, said Beth Card, assistant commissioner of MassDEP’s Bureau of Resource Protection.

If the wells are abandoned and the town takes no more water from the river, the need for an aquifer protection area ends, commented Worrall.

Comment by Joan Parcewski, realtor – Should other towns consider a similar move?  Would it be more cost effective than building new and maintaining individual town water treatment plants?  It is food for thought. 

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