Greensboro’s water pipe replacement work wraps up this December as the contractor, Munson Earth Moving Corporation, wins the 2013 Best Builders Award “For Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort.” Since April, Munson has been digging up and replacing over 3.5 miles of water pipe in the Greensboro Fire District #1 (GFD#1) all with minimal disruption to vehicular traffic and water service. Munson will return early in the spring to finish some hook-ups, plant some more grass and lay down a new sidewalk by The Green across from Willey’s.
John Mackin, the Water Operator and Chair of the GFD#1 Prudential Committee, echoed the sentiments of whole town in saying, “Munson has been superb. We couldn’t have asked for a better contractor. They have been efficient in their work and sensitive to the water users. We salute Eric Freehart, the Munson project supervisor, and his great team. We thank all Greensboro residents for their patience in this major infrastructure improvement providing jobs in Orleans County.”
Last spring Munson dug up and replaced the water lines from Lakeview School down to Willey’s and up Breezy Avenue to Country Club Road, being sure to finish Breezy before the summer influx. From July to October they replaced pipe from the reservoir down to the Perron field, across to Cheney Road and along the lake through Winnemere, all this time maintaining water service through temporary surface piping to the 200 users in the district. In the fall Munson completed some paving, laid pipe out Country Club Road, put down 1600 feet of pipe to the new fire station site and finished by going out Black’s Point. In addition we now have 25 shiny new red fire hydrants.
Some of the old replaced cast iron pipes had gaping holes in them, some as large at 2 inches in diameter. So it is no surprise that the daily water usage of the GFD#1 has now been reduced by 75%. In addition, the district dug a new well last spring and brought it on line this summer in order to reduce the strain on well #3 that the hydrologist said, “has been dewatered.” This new 600 ft. deep well #4 costs over $100,000. John Mackin hopes now that the district will never again have to issue a “boil water” notice as required when the district pumps emergency water directly from Caspian Lake and has to chlorinate it heavily.
The bill for the entire project will exceed $3 million in the spring when the roof of the water system’s reservoir on Baker Hill will be replaced and two new buildings for machinery and chlorination are built. The Town of Greensboro will pay only for the 1600 ft. spur to the new fire station; everything else is paid for by the water users in the GFD#1. The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Division, has made a loan to the district of $1.558 million at 2.75% per year, payable over 40 years, as well as a grant of as much as $1.275 million. Since the loan payback will cost the district $64,466 per year, the water user rate for a residential home has had to double to $400 per year.
Court Perry, vice president of Munson Earth Moving Corporation, accepted the Best Builder Award from the Associated General Contractors of Vermont. Ken Trask of Tata & Howard (formerly Leach Engineering) was the senior engineer in charge of designing the entire project and holding the hands of Greensboro’s Prudential Committee: John Mackin, Nat Smith and Craig Dezell.
The water project started in earnest five years ago when the state determined that Greensboro had been in violation of the state water rules for far too long, dating back well into the Helen Lyles reign as Water Czar. The water leaks had become legendary and expensive. The water pressure was far too low and the risk of water contamination was far too high. The district hired Tata & Howard of St. Johnsbury to make recommendations and the legal voters of the GFD#1 voted to go ahead in October of 2010 by approving a $2.95 million bond to finance the project.