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CHICOPEE — During the City Council meeting on March 19, the council approved three mayor’s orders that will help with overall city improvements.

The first order was for the appropriation of $3 million from the stabilization fund to DPW high special account for the citywide ward program.

Chicopee recently unveiled its road resurfacing projects for the spring, supported by the Chapter 90 program

“We are using our Chapter 90 money, and we have the intention to do multiple streets,” Mayor John Vieau added.

The state’s Chapter 90 program provides annual funding to municipalities for the enhancement and investment in local transportation infrastructures.

Chicopee intends to use those funds to resurface Lawrence Road, Nichols Road Intersection, Lemuel Avenue, Moore Street, Glenwood Street, Gilbert Street, Bromont Street, Griffith Road, Better Way, Johnson Road and New Ludlow Road. The city sent out the bid package for the 2024 Resurfacing Project, with bids expected by late March/early April, and aiming for construction to start in mid to late May.

DPW Superintendent Elizabette Batista discussed how long this project may take.
She said, “It should be fairly quickly. These are road resurfacing projects, so they go pretty fast.”

Ward 9 City Councilor Mary Beth Pniak-Costello talked about the importance of this project.

“This great news for the city. Getting the $3 million is great news and resurfacing these roads are very, very important to our constituents. This is a tremendous construction for the city of Chicopee. Many of these roads are essential,” Pniak-Costello added.

Ward 4 City Councilor George Balakier said, “Three of these streets that are referenced are in my ward and they are very heavily traveled, and they do need help, so this is really good. I am looking forward to this coming on board as are the constituents and neighbors.”

The City Council also approved $38,940 for the purchase of a new snowplow.

Vieau explained, “One of our foremen felt he could more effectively help during the winter snowstorms by adding a wing plow and I have the upmost confidence in his abilities and certainly feel that this could help by using technology to help clean our streets in a more effective and efficient manner.”

The new wing plow will be used during snow events to clear roads throughout the city allowing one vehicle to make a wider pass of more than one lane in snow clearing for more efficiency.

The wing plow is retractable and has the ability to be put on the side of the truck if needed to go down a narrower road.

Batista said, “It’s meant for wider roads. We have salt routes which include a lot of our major roadways like Westover Road, Chicopee Street. When you see the trucks typically plowing it’s three trucks in a row, what a wing plow does is essentially takes two plows and helps push it to the gutters.”

She added that this will help cope with her staff shortage and having less plows on the road.

The final order the City Council approved was for $25,000 from available funds in the Wastewater Special Account for the Memorial Drive sewer extension.

The appropriation will fund the purchase of a chlorine pump regulator and related equipment needed during storm events for proper chlorination and ventilation of stormwater discharges to the Connecticut River.

“We have a unanimous vote from our commissioners from the Water and Sewer Commission and [what] they are asking us to do is we have to replace that chlorine pump regulator at Jones Ferry,” Vieau added.

Jones Ferry is a combined sewer overflow facility so when it rains, and the pump station is at capacity it sends the flow to the treatment plant.
Anything of excess goes through the combined sewer overflow facility where it gets partially treated with chlorine and dechlorinated before it is discharged into the river.

“This is a chlorine pump regulator that is part of that whole disinfection process,” Batista said.

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