Deerfield and Bernardston Accept PWA; Northfield Rejects
Greenfield Must Approve Water Plan; Deerfield Votes Sewers
Residents of Deerfield and Bernardston at special meetings last night voted
to accept PWA grants for sewer and water project construction, respectively,
and to raise the necessary additional amount for installation of the two systems.
Northfield simultaneously rejected a project for a high school and gymnasium
to cost $84,900. Under the proposed plan the government was to have contributed
$38,000 of the cost.
Bernardston Accepts, 161 to 49
BERNARDSTON- After more than 20 years deliberation on the feasibility of a
municipal water system here, voters last night tempted by a 45 per cent federal PWA
grant registered hearty approval of construction of a $77,000 system.
Announcement of the 161 to 49 vote to accept brought a burst of cheer,s from
a large group which waited until nearly 11 p m for the ballots to be counted.
Discussion of the proposition was opened by Fred Donaldson, who gave figures
on the cost of construction and told how the tax rate and property values would
Cost of the project would be approximately $77,000 Donaldson said. Under the
PWA the government will grant $34,650, 45 per cent of the total cost. The remaining
55 per cent of $42,350 will be the cost to the town. This can be borrowed at
a rate of 2 1/2 to three percent over a period of 30 years, he claimed.
Assuming the maximum likely interest was three per cent. Donaldson said the
first years' interest charged would be $1,270.50 on a total valuation of $470,370
there will be an estimated increase in the tax rate the first year of $5.07, he
To offset this tax increase Donaldson said the town would be classified by
the New England Fire Insurance exchange in class D instead of E, reducing insurance
rates more than half. Reductions would be from $6.50 for houses with shingled
roofs to $3.10 a thousand and from $6 for slate roofs to $2.70, he said.
Donaldson cited a saving of $9.03 for his own pocketbook by the installation
of the system. He revealed a saving of $31.35 on the insurance for his property
valued at $9500. With a tax increase totalling only $23.32 he showed that he
would gain $8.03.
Herman Weimers, who together with Donaldson has been instrumental in procuring
fact and figures on the long-sought water system, reported the town of Greenfield
would supply Bernardston with water after the pipe line had been installed.
He said by renting water from Greenfield the Bernardston water commission would
not be troubled by expense of repair and general maintenance after the system
had been constructed.
90 Pct. Local Labor
In answer to a question, whether no Bernardston men would be employed digging the
ditches for the system, Weimers explained that 90 per cent or as much as possible
of the labor would be hired in Bernardston.
Weimers said there would be 30 fire hydrants and an under-ground reservoir
on Ryther Hill had been recommended. Pipes, he said, would consist of a 12-inch
line on South street and the rest would be six, eight and 10 inch types.
The only resident who expressed any definite verbal objection to construction
of the system was Ray Dunnell, who said he doubted if the Greenfield district
would maintain the cost of repairs and other expenses, merely for rentals.
Dunnell said he also felt there would be considerable difficulty in obtaining
money from the government. He said, Hinsdale, which is completing a sewer and
water supply system, has not yet received one cent of its federal allotment.
The laxity of the government, Dunnell said, caused considerable delay and extra
expense in the construction.
In answer to Dunnell, Weimers said Bernardston has been assured of its 10 per
cent of the government grant as soon as three copies of the town's approval
are in the hands of PWA officials in Boston. The Hinsdale system was built on
a different agreement, he pointed out, whereby the town would receive 30? per
cent of the cost to be applied to the first five payments. Bernardston he claimed,
has been assured of the federal money for construction costs and that the expense
for engineering work will not be eaten up by the cost of the project.
Weimers also pointed out that the job must be started by Dec 15 and that approximately
four months would be required for construction.
Sees Health Guard
Dr F Wilton Dean said he favored a town water supply system from a health standpoint.
Whereas spring water now used in some of the Bernardston homes may be pure and
sanitary, Dr. Dean said there is a great chance for impurities in the wells
and rain water cisterns used extensively.
There was some question as to whether or not the cost of construction might
exceed $77,000, but Weimers and Donaldson declared this would not be likely.
They also said rents would be from $10 to $13 yearly, the same as to Greenfield
residents, and that of the estimated 100 users there would probably be 50 the
first and second years.
Before the meeting was closed Fred Wright, moderator, was asked to appoint a
committee of three to work with the Greenfield water commissioners in establishing
a fixed rental basis. They are Warren Root, Harold H. Streeter, and Grenville
The Bernardston fire district, Weimers explained, starts at the town line at
the Bernardston, Gill and Fall river junction and then follows the town line
to the railroad crossing, up the brook to 200 feet beyond the George Hale place.
From there the district follows along the foot of West mountain over the mountain
and then to the state road. The district follows along the road to 200 feet
beyond the James Parker lot, to within 200 feet of Mrs. Hale's lot, and then
goes 200 feet north to the brook. From the brook the line goes to the old cutlery.
The meeting was opened at about 8 in the basement of the town hall, but because
of the large attendance adjournment was made to the upstairs hall. This was
also filled and a large number remained standing in the entrance. After discussion
of the proposal, residents voted on a "yeas" or "no" ballot
Sewer System Adopted by Deerfield
DEERFIELD- Residents of this town last night voted to pass every article recommended
by the finance committee including measures providing for the construction of
a $198,000 sewer system with PWA aid. There was little discussion.
The permissive legislative act was accepted 222 to 102 by the Australian ballot
The act enables two projects to build sewers in Deerfield and in South Deerfield
for which the PWA has granted $89,100, or 45 per cent of the total cost. The
balance is to be paid by the abutters on a front-foot basis and a special tax
levy by the town.
Under the second article the meeting by a standing vote favored raising $200,000
and borrowing a sum not to exceed $120,000 by a 30-year bond issue. It was voted
under the next article that the town pay 25 per cent and the abutters 75 per
cent of the cost of constructing the system. The first vote was passed 89 to
Motions authorizing the selectmen to sell the town land in Great Swamp for
a sum not less than $2,000, ratifying the action of the selectmen in selling
the North Wisdom school house for not less than $300, and instructing the board
to release the town's interest in the Wapping school house to the heirs of Quartus
Hawks upon payment of $25, were all carried unanimously. The several articles
covering the transfers in different departmental accounts were passed without
The system will be divided into two distinct projects, one in Deerfield and
the other in South Deerfield. The latter would begin north of the high school
and extend south to the center and then down Sugarloaf street. Intersecting streets
along the way will connect with the central system.
The project in Old Deerfield will consist of one main line through Main street.
The combined systems will cover approximately five miles.
Northfield Votes 171 to 34 Against PWA
NORTHFIELD- At the special town meeting here last night the proposed $84,900
high school project was rejected 171 to 34. The proposal would have included
a new gymnasium and the government was to have contributed $38,000 towards the
If the project had been accepted the town was to appropriate $47,000 and the
selectmen were to be authorized to issue bonds or notes of the town to be payable
in not more than 20 years.
The first action of the meeting was the transfer of $1,000 from the surplus
revenue fund to FERA and other relief work projects.