Kennebunk/Green work to begin in early June

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli Athol Town Hall.

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 5/26/2023 4:57:06 PM
Modified: 5/26/2023 4:56:49 PM

ATHOL – Work will soon get underway to replace aging water lines in the neighborhood of Kennebunk and Green streets.

To address the concerns of area residents, Athol Public Works Director Dick Kilhart and other DPW officials recently held a neighborhood meeting to explain details of the project.

“Interestingly enough, most of the folks who were there – and we had a pretty good turnout – didn’t realize that the piping on this proposed water job was dating back to the 1880s. They were surprised,” Kilhart told the Athol Daily News. “We’ve been talking about this project for pretty much about two years now. But the meeting was to facilitate conversation, let folks now that, with construction, it does cause disruption and folks should be somewhat prepared for that.”

When it comes to possible disruptions, Kilhart added that drivers may have to go around one street versus the other for a period of time. No streets will be entirely blocked off. Kilhart said his department published a flyer that included information for residents, including numbers to call night or day.

Asked about a timeline for the project, Kilhart said first steps would be taken early next month. Equipment being used should arrive in the neighborhood during the week of May 29. The Kennebunk Street stretch, he said, should be completed by mid-July.

“We don’t have the 16-inch pipe that will be going in Green Street as of yet,” he noted. “There’s no indication of when that’s going to come. What I told the neighborhood meeting is if the pipe doesn’t show up until the middle of September, we’re not going to start digging in cold weather. We’d likely put it off until spring of next year. The timeline is all material-dependent.”

The project is being paid for with $1.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies, and approved by the Selectboard in December. In March of this year, Town Manager Shaun Suhoski announced that A. Martins & Sons of Ludlow had been contracted to do the work.

The DPW director explained that there is a schedule for the work “as far as what comes first, what goes second, what goes third. Part of that is to prepare for bypassing the water around Green Street so that we can ultimately take the water offline, if you will, on Green Street. For instance, the Kennebunk water main replacement will be first, and the six-inch pipe that is there will be upsized to 12-inch, and that will carry one of the bypasses.”

Kilhart said some residents asked about replacing lines that run from the town water main to their home. He explained that the town is responsible for the lines that run from the water main to the property edge, in essence, the sidewalk. An upgrade from the town main to the house would be the responsibility of the homeowner. He did add, however, that there is an exception to that rule.

If the line running from the town main to the home is a galvanized water service line, he said, “then the town, this project, because of this ARPA money – that is one requirement – if someone has a galvanized line, that would be replaced as part of this project.”

Kilhart added that the work is vital to the town, and would help the system for the next 100 years.

“If you ever had a problem on Green Street 30 years or 50 years from now, you’d be able to bypass around the other street by simply closing some valving,” he said. “This replacement is not only for today, but using some forethought in making this useful for the next 50 to 100 years. At some point, somebody’s going to say, ‘Those folks really knew what they were doing 50 years ago.’”

Greg Vine can be reached at

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