Low Interest Loan Allows $57.5 Million in City Projects to Advance

Deputy DPW Director Robert E. Ward during a recent Haverhill City Council meeting.

Haverhill’s eligibility for low-interest state loans will help take the pressure off water and sewer rate increases as the city moves ahead with more than $57.5 million in improvements.

State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey announced this week the city is eligible to borrow up to $35 million from the state at a relatively low 2 percent interest rate. Haverhill’s Deputy DPW Director Robert E. Ward gave WHAV listeners a brief overview of the work to be done.

“We’re looking to tap into a few early projects and then phase in a few other things—a few upgrades over at the wastewater treatment plant—over the next few years.”

Ward explained a water treatment plant upgrade is expected to cost $37.5 million, while a water supply improvement and repairs to 20- and 36-inch water mains will add $17 million and $3 million respectively to the totals. While Ward said the city is likely to reach the state’s $35 million cap, projects will be spread out over several years to take advantage of future low-interest loan programs.

Part of the work at the city’s wastewater treatment plant on South Porter Street includes the next phase of odor control work.

Other water and sewer extension projects, such as those planned on Water and Lake Streets totaling between $300,000 and $400,000, are not eligible for the low interest rate. Ward explained Lake Street residents, for example, will pay for up to 45 percent of a sewer extension at the eastern end of Lake Street, near North Broadway, through a sewer assessment.