County Officials To Seek Berlin Plant Details

BERLIN – Seeking to refine the plan for two wastewater plants in Berlin, Worcester County will likely ask the town to provide a more detailed method of achieving its goals.

A draft letter to the town, not yet approved by the Worcester County Planning Commission, identifies 15 items for consideration arising from a meeting between the town and county last week to further discuss the plan to add a new wastewater plant in addition to the existing Berlin plant, following the presentation of the idea to the county Planning Commission early in August.

Suggestions listed in the draft county letter include the need for a capacity management plan showing when and where EDUs will be used and on what land type, a schedule to meet the benchmarks of the plan, a requirement for the town to meet those benchmarks in 10 years and to try to meet them sooner.

The county also plans to suggest retrofitting the existing stormwater management infrastructure for water quality control.

The plan approved by Berlin this summer to provide more wastewater capacity, as required under state law, provides for a new treatment plant to be built at the Tyson chicken plant property owned by developer Troy Purnell with the existing Berlin plant reducing capacity and disposing of treated effluent by spray irrigation.

“It’s a massive undertaking,” said Berlin Mayor Tom Cardinale. “We’re still working with the county.”

Berlin Engineering Consultant Mark Prouty submitted a draft list of 11 items to discuss to the Berlin Mayor and Council this week. The council has called a special work session on those concerns for Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. at Berlin Town Hall.

Berlin Administrative Director Linda Bambary said more information was needed on some items from Prouty’s list.

“I like the basic concepts here on quick reading,” Council Vice President Gee Williams said at Monday night’s council meeting. “I’d like to have a chance to at least read it.”

Williams said the town is determined to add more spray irrigation land to its wastewater disposal system.

The only way for the town to get that land is through annexation over generations, according to Williams.

“I like that concept. I’m completely committed to it,” Williams said.

Details in the plan need to be clarified, he said.

The new system faces a long road of approvals before work begins.

“I don’t think you’re going to see any capacity for about two years. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think so,” said Cardinale.