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Pittsfield Board Endorses New Benedict Road Water Tank

By Joe Durwin
Pittsfield Correspondent
09:48AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board approved of a site plan Tuesday for the construction of a new water tank on Benedict Road to replace one that previously stood at that location.

Doug Oughton of AECOM, a Wakefield-based engineering firm hired by the city for the project, told the board the proposed tank would be erected at the same 501 Benedict Road location as a previous tank taken down in 2008, at the northeastern corner of Springside Park, directly adjacent to the Gerald S. Doyle Sofball Complex.
 
"The advantages of this location is that there was a tank there previously, and as such, the infrastructure is already in place," said Oughton. "Which will obviously keep the costs down for the city."
 
This storage tank will serve the city's northern water pressure zone, currently handled by one at the YMCA Ponterril facility, which it will both supplement and allow to be taken offline for maintenance.
 
"The city is under a consent order with MassDEP to build this project so they can maintain the other tank," Oughton pointed out.
 
Wider than the former Benedict Road tank, the exterior of the storage facility would be a concrete construction measuring 77 feet in diameter, and 68 feet high. The increased width, however, will not help with the oft-mentioned issues with water pressure in that party of the city, as the pressure is governed by the height of the tank, which must remain consistent with the height of the other tank.  
 
"It will improve flows, for fires, and safety in that regard," offered Oughton.
 
While the plan does not call for any landscaping or tree planting to "soften" the visual impact of the large concrete structure, Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood indicated that the city could undertake some tree or shrub planting if desired, though the board did not move to recommend this.
 
Associate board member David Hathaway pointed out that since this is a city site and project, that possibility can be considered later if any deemed necessary.
 

A water tank is planned for 501 Benedict Road to supplement another tank in city's north end.

"That can be dealt with at another time, in another venue, if there is that necessity, and there may not be," said the former city planner, enthusiastically endorsing what he called a "very well done" application.  "This is obviously a public necessity."
 
The board voted unanimously to recommend the site plan on to the Zoning Board of Appeals for consideration.
 
Also Tuesday, Cafua Management requested a continuance to the board's April meeting to present a proposal to permit a Dunkin' Donuts drive-through on the site of the former Plunkett School building at First and Fenn streets "for the purpose of further analysis."
 
"We're prepared to present tonight, if you'd like a presentation. We can outline and provide you with additional information," said attorney Thomas Hamel, representing Cafua, indicating that additional information related to traffic was not yet ready to present at this time. The City Council had referred the matter to the commission last month.
 
Cafua is expected to submit a traffic study for the proposed driv- through, which would feature an entrance on Fenn Street and exit onto First Street, as part of its proposal, which will also require City Council approval for permitting. The Community Development Board will consider the application and public comment on the controversial plan at its April 2 meeting.

Tags: community development,   Dunkin' Donuts,   water usage,   

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