December 30, 2010

Main & May Street

Worcester's version of the Big Dig.   Can someone please try to find out who is paying for all these sewerage improvements.    My guess is that the bill needs to be in the $650K to $1 million dollar and I bet you that the tax-payers are footing the bill.

I also believe this work had to be done to alleviate the sewer back-ups from the new low income housing development on May Street.  If any private developer had to do this, they would have had to pay out of their own pockets.


D13 said...


What about Newton Sq? Why aren't you beating the war drums on that project? Perhaps because it's on the Westside.

Bill Randell said...

The work at Newton Square, excuse the pun, has been in the pipeline for a very very long time. The pumping station there has not been able to handle the flow , which includes both Holden and Rutland.

Over the past several years houses in low lying areas of Newton Square have sewerage back up into their houses because the pumping station is overwhelmed. this work has been planned for years and it is good to see that it is is being done.

The work being done at Newton Square is not being done to bail out a developer who has sewerage problems, but to address a problem that has been developing over the past several years.


Jahn said...

Assuming this May St mess is being cleaned up on the taxpayer dime, does anyone see a similarity between this MAY St situation and and TIF given for the new DA's digs.

In both cases a developer has F'ed up and the city steps in with a subsidy. In the case of the DA's new digs, the dev'er, it is reported, underestimated their re-hab costs so now they need a TIF to bail them out. In the case of the MAy st sewer line work, I would assert that certain organizations and individuals w/o adequate experince (or no experience) got in over their head (no pun) so now they allegedly need a taxpayer bailout (no pun) to constr new upgraded sewer lines.

Need a bailout, call 1-800-Bail Out....City Hall bail bondsman standing by 24/7/365. Enforcemnet by Dog Bounty Hunter.

Bill Randell said...

The work being donw at Newton Square is to benefit that entire section of the city and Holden-Rutland and has been in the works for years.

The work on Main-May, as far as I can tell, is to bail out one property owner who created the problem themselves.


Bill Randell said...


You and I disagree on TIFS. I believe they can be used effectively to grow our commercial base.

I agree, however, with you on the DA's office. Give someone a TIF because the rehad costs were more then expected? Makes no sense to me.

If that was the basis of granting someone a TIF then everyone should get a TIF, since rehab costs are always more then expected.


D13 said...


Clearly someone screwed up in Newton Sq. A housing explosion in Newton Sq. Rutland and Holden whereever are probably to blame, if this is the case.

The system wasn't meant to handle that much waste. However, with that said & by your logic should not the homeowners of the houses built in the last 30 years be responsible for flipping the bill?

Bill Randell said...



The home-owners in this area did not do anything wrong, why should they have to pay for this?

This is an infrastructure improvement that the City needs to do and pay for because it is their pumping station that is failing and causing problems. In the end an improved pumping station will improve this whoile section of the city.

The May-Main Street project, as far as I can tell, is only going to benefit one property. I need to get this confirmed. At the same time I am pretty sure about this.

The problem was caused by the proeprty -woner, who probably never should have put units in the basement. D13, sorry these two projects could not be more different.


jahn said...

BIll, what do u think of my idea that the TIf benefit is partially rec'd as the recipeint of the TIF makes progress toward the stated job growth for instance..kinda like in the private sector where a builder gets paid as he meets the objective of completing the building..but there's always retainage money held back over the erm of the tIF until all the objectives are met and are sustained.

I call it pay for performance. I mean do front your service providers a stream of benefits ( money ) before they attain any of their agreed upon objectives.

Jahn said...

When did the May st/Worc Common Grd sewerage problem arise summer 2008 or summer 2009.

I am just trying to determine how quickly the city took action on this problem compared to say my carpet bombed street pavement or my unpassable & unshovelable sidewalk. This is what really ticks me off about those who are plugged into city hall getting expeditous results while the rest of us wait decades for a city tree limb to be cut

Jahn said...

D-13, you allude to those building houses in the last 30 years having to pay for the Newton Sq project. In fact this has happened.

I think what you're missing is that any new constr in Worc in the last 26 yrs has had to pay a sewer connection fee, which money is specifially set aside for city sewer system upgrades, re-habs, and the like.

So basically what you say should have happened, has in fact happened. I.e. homeowners in the Newton Sq situation have paid when they bought their newly constructed homes.

FYI, the fee was $330 per bedroom when initially implemented in about 1984, then increased to $660 per bedroom maybe in the mid 1990's and then increased again to $1320 per bedroom maybe about 2005. I do not know what commercial fee hook up is, but it does exist. Please note the residentail fee has quadrupled in 26 years. Nice heist if you can get away with it.

What has not been said here is these non profit low income builders get this sewer connection fee waived, basically just by asking. the City Council has authorized the DPW to waive the fee for the above low income builders merely by completing a fee waiver request form and paying a $50 paperwork fee. Dittos for the water connection fee as well ( $1,000 per unit), although the debate here is centered on the sewer fee.

So to summarize we have Worc Common Grd building/rehabbing a 42 residential unit structure with probabaly 80 bedrooms in it. 80 bedrooms x 1320 per BR hookup fee = $106,000 in fees that WGC had waived. This building had a few units built in the basement that never would have been allowed if a private, for profit dev'er owned the dev'ment. The units are not high enough above the level of the sewer line and simple gravity takes over in times of heavy rain.

WCG realizes their problems and comes banging their tin cup ( if Bill's assertion is correct) for the city to upgrade the sewer system to alleviate the problem and WCG never paid a single penny of the sewer hook up fees req'd of others to maintain the city sewer infrastructure.

Not only did they not pay, but they are allowed to go to the head of the line for req'd work. This STINKS of rotten politics and favortism and is wrong.

Bill is correct, Nick K or Caywood or Sutner should unmask thsi scam for what it

Bill Randell said...


Very good point


jahn said...

D 13, i also meant to add, a new housing explosion in the Newton Sq area? Lord knows I rarely travel that area, excpet the main arteries like Pleasnat & June. & Highland.

Last time I was in the Newton Sq area on a secondary St was to get new transmission over behind the intersection of richmond and pleasant......cant think of what they call that square know the one with the pinko commie, liberal, yuppie coffee shoppe in it & the packie, too :) ...... My self I prefer coffe and a dognut at June & Chandler

My question, b/c I rarely travel those residential side sts in the Newton Sq area.......has there really been an explosion of new housing constr in that area? My take was that the area was pretty much built out residenatilly...........excpet maybe some area off of Newton Ave North?

Maybe the constr u refer is up off of Moreland St....or further out on wealthy, swanky, snobby, snooty Salisbury St .... nearer the Peoples republic of holden :) assuming here that sewerage from these area makes its way to Newton Sq?

signman said...


find the old story in the T and G where WCG went to the council for help. In the story the head of DPW was quoted that they told WCG there would be problems.. The developer went to their own guy who said they would not be any problems... Guess what there were problems and we pay the head of DPW good money because he knows his stuff.. The city should not have given WCG permits when they knew there would be an issue.OR make them pay for their own problem... There are many problems in the city with sewers that should have been done ahead of this... same as sidewalks...all slides under the radar... lets start putting this online these projects when they are slated for... and see how some get jumped ahead of others common sense sh... flows down hill and they put apartments below street level

Jahn said...

I can recall two other situations in Worc in the past few years........Off Massasoit Rd ( for sure) and Over in the Vernon Hill area (i think). Problems had to do w/inadequate sewerage facilities and heavy rains and/or pumping problems.

Rest assured the folks in these 2 instances were told there wasnt much the DPW could do....altho I do think the DPW ultimately did something...........but not on the scale of tying up a private constr crew with a million dollars plus of heavy eqiupmnet plus a crew that has has to running 1000's of dollars a day....

Let us also not forget teh illegal above ground sewer line ( temporary?) that WGC was allowed to tie in over on Main St, that it is alleged was illegally installed over private property. DPW would never allow this for a private dev'er.

Sign Man, frankly, I got issues with how that DPW sometimes operates both what i see, hear & read plus what I have experienced over many years. I allege that years ago b4 the council the gave the CDC's carte blanche for free($50)sewer hook ups (water too) that the DPW was not charging non profit low income dev'ers the requisite hook up fees and the DPW DID NOT back then have that authority to waive fees..........their only authority is and was to collect the fee upon application for the hook ups............and that's right from highly placed city officials who know their stuff (not politicians).

Another very knowledgeable city official once told me and I paraphrase one messes with the CDC's in Worcester..........and this was in response to my complaint of CDC's doing end runs around the permitting & building processes in Worc...which of course saved them ooodles and of course correspondinlgy cost the city taxpayers ooodles......

CDC's and low income housing in Worcester are a cancer and I think in the long run the cancer will croak the city. As always, my opinion only.

Jahn said...

Also time and again I have advocated that the special bank acct set up to hold these sewer hook up fees be audited to be certain that it is being used only as intended,

Politicians and bureaucrats have strong tendencies to see a pile of cash accumulating and then tapping it for purposes that it was not originally intended to be used for.

E.g. Everyone knows where all the cash that goes into our so called Social security trust fund really goes. I have $10,000 that says some of the money in that sewer acct has gone to pay for other than sewere system work

If a streets carpet bombed pavement is 37 years old and has been in need of re paving for 17 years.........and the DPW also just coincidenatly decides the street needs new sewer lines............should the money in the sewer mainatance acct be used for repaving the street under the auspices that the street had to be rip up for sewer line reconstr wich of course destroys the pavement ....which pavement in my example was already completely destroyed. What i am saying is that b/c there is such a huge back log of street repaving projects what are the chances the city will "manuever" in such a way to find funding for street repaving from non traditional a pile of cash initially collected to maintain the sewer system.

Fast forward to May & Main's a quote we might heare in the future when questioned about who is paying for this work :

"Well we (city/dpw) decided that MAy St needed repaving b/c it is a main artery in the city. We also decided the sewer lines under May St s/b that's why we did the sewer lines on May St with public monies."

What will not be said is the only the sewer lines replaced were from May St to Silver st (Worc Common Grds property) ......or maybe just to make it look kosher they'll replace the lines for another 200 ft or so.

Never ever underestimate the deviousness of gub'mint.

Signman said...

You said it correctly..NO ONE. Messes with the CDCs. I know they have done some good but enough already