BERLIN — Three years in the making, a new water treatment building to be located on Branch Street received final approval for its $327,900 cost this week.
According to Water Resources Director Jane Kreiter, the new facility is desperately needed.
“The [old] building itself is pretty much falling down around the pump, she said. “The electric is in horrible shape. We have to reset it with a broom handle.”
Originally built before televisions were in most homes, Water Superintendent Marvin Smith explained the current facility has seen more than 60 years of use. While service has not deteriorated, he admitted that the walls have.
“The building is decaying,” he said.
The new facility will be larger and much more modern, noted Kreiter. It will also be significantly more appealing aesthetically, she noted.
“This will include an attractive brick building … It’ll match the neighborhood,” said Kreiter.
At $327,900, the new water treatment building is a hefty undertaking for Berlin. However, Town Administrator Tony Carson reminded the council funding for the project has been sequestered partially in several previous budget years.
“This is the third year we have budgeted,” he said, adding that a series of negotiations with contractor Gillis Gilkerson reduced the original price by $80,000.
Carson explained the town has tried to “stretch it out as long as possible” in terms of using the old facility, but is finally at the point where a new building is needed.
The demolition of the old structure and the completion of the new in the same spot will take about 220 days, according to Kreiter.