In Great Barrington, it’s costing $150,000 annually and is rising at 30 percent per year, to unclog the town sewer system. Reliable estimates put the cost of fixing the wipe clogs nationwide at $1 billion per year.
Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, who directs Multicultural BRIDGE and co-chairs the Du Bois 150th Committee, was in Town Hall Monday night with Randy Weinstein, founder and director of the Du Bois Center at Great Barrington, to gain approval to mount banners on utility poles in town and to report on the progress the committee had made on celebrating the birthday of iconic scholar and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois.
Sean Van Deusen, who heads the Great Barrington Department of Public Works, told the selectmen the sewer rate increase was necessary in order to fund debt incurred because of a mandated sewer system upgrade.
The cost for a sewer system as small as Great Barrington’s is staggering. The annual cost for dealing with so-called “flushable” wipes is estimated to be $150,000 for cleaning and unclogging, with labor alone costing $85,000.
Great Barrington’s wastewater treatment facility, which maintains 35 miles of sewer line and six pumping stations throughout Great Barrington and Housatonic, was recognized for its exceptional organization and exemplary maintenance program.
Convinced that Internet access is as essential modern living as electricity, the Alford Broadband Committee is well along the way of determining the process by which the town could build and organize a high-speed Internet infrastructure. Information meeting August 8, at 10 a.m. at Town Hall; vote on project Monday, August 10, at 7 p.m.