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July 8, 2013

Andover school's request to tie into sewer pipe 'raises red flags'


To tie into the sewer line, which is privately owned, selectmen from Andover have to vote to approve what’s known as an Inter-Municipal Agreement, or IMA, because the sewer line goes into Tewksbury and then into Lowell, where it is linked to that city’s wastewater treatment plant. The agreement also has to be approved by Tewksbury and Lowell.

Vispoli and others on the board repeated several times during recent meetings that they wanted the agreement written in such a way that it restricts what Melmark can do on the site.

“Can the IMA detail that this is explicitly for this building and this use only?” he asked town counsel Tom Urbelis. “The only additional use is for the kitchen. Is Melmark OK with that?”

Selectman Mary Lyman added, “that agreement would help enormously.”

Part of the concern of Selectmen and other town officials is that the sewer line has a capacity of 800,000 gallons of wastewater a day. Currently, it only uses about 40,000 gallons a day.

Melmark officials said at last week’s meeting that they were fine with revised wording restricting what they do on their property.

Even though Selectmen have already held two or three meetings on the subject, they decided last week to send the IMA back to the lawyers for more revisions. Selectmen are expected to vote on the final wording of the agreement at their meeting tonight at 5:15 p.m.

Town Manager Buzz Stapczyinski said the revised wording of the amended IMA should “make Selectmen feel comfortable.”

It is not the first time the town has dealt with this sewer line and development concerns along River Road.

More than 10 years ago, a Tewksbury developer won approval from the town to move the St. Clare monastery from its old location - site of the Avalon development - across the street to a new facility. As part of that, the developer installed a private sewer line into Tewksbury.

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