Environmentalists Fight Construction on Fruit Street

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By: Brittany O’Loughlin
The town of Hopkinton, MA is in the midst of planning to build a Wastewater Treatment Facility on Fruit Street. There have been many complaints and concerns from residents and environmental groups about this project. The project, which will be discussed at the Special Town Meeting on December 14, will increase tax revenue to the town and indirectly recharge the Sudbury River Basin.
The new plant will have a 100,000 gallons per day (GDP) wastewater treatment capacity, and the town plans to use a sewer connection to Milford to provide for another 200,000 GDP. The expansion of the town’s treatment capacity will help to support construction throughout the town, on projects such as the remodeling of Bill’s Pizza, and an expansion of Collela’s Market. Hopkinton has almost reached the contractual limit for the amount of wastewater that can be sent to Westborough, and must look towards these alternative options. Grants and Phase 6 will primarily pay for the cost of this $19 million project, which is Hopkinton’s “industrial and business zoned land along South Street, Elmwood Park, Lumber Street and a portion of West Main Street” according to a statement made by the Department of public works. The project will not affect taxes.
However, the plan has been slightly delayed due to a series of appeals made by environmental groups who have concerns about detrimental effects that the facility may cause to the surrounding area on Fruit Street. The Cedar Swamp Conservation Trust has recently received a grant from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund to help fund their appeals, according to the Metrowest Daily News. The trust feels that the new facility will be too close to Whitehall Brook. Although the Department of Public Works and the Town Manager’s office have announced that “the leach beds used to recharge the aquifer have been moved further away from Whitehall Brook,” it appears that the environmental group will continue to fight the construction. The Brook has outstanding resource water protection, however, the issues have been ruled in Hopkinton’s favor. The grant will help to fund appeals, which may now be taken to the superior court.
Although the construction of this facility has taken longer than originally intended, it appears that it will soon be well under way, and may help to facilitate the expansion of businesses in the town of Hopkinton.

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