SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – During a virtual discussion Wednesday evening, the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission proposed its budget plan for the fiscal year 2022.
The proposed operating budget totals $96.1 million. The plan includes several new projects. Including, replacing outdated electrical systems at the wastewater treatment plant, and upgrading filters in areas with elevated levels of Haloacetic Acid or HAA5.
Elevated levels of HAA5 have been an ongoing issue in the area’s water supply for years.
Additionally, following cybersecurity threats across the country, the commission is budgeting $300,000 towards updating its information systems.
“The end result will be a solution that monitors and monitors our entire IT infrastructure without the threat of compromise. This was an unplanned project, but in light of other cybersecurity threats, including on the colonial pipeline, for example, it is regarded as critical to protecting the security of our infrastructure,” Communications Manager, Jaimye Bartak said.
With no large-scale grant money coming from the state or federal government, the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission is relying on its revenue from the sale of water and sewer services to other towns and cities.
“It’s important to recognize, in fiscals year 20 and 21 we experienced unprecedented financial challenges that we are continuing to deal with today as a result of the pandemic. The spring of 2020 saw a significant decrease in water demand, which resulted in the lost revenue of $4.25 million,” Executive Director, Josh Schimmel said.
The proposed budget comes with a hike to water and sewer bills by $6 a month.
If approved, customers will see the increase reflected in their bills beginning August of this year.