Wastewater fine added insult to injury

It was announced Monday that the state has fined the town of Bennington $15,000 for failing to keep its wastewater treatment facility properly maintained.
Given that the town already intends to seek a bond for about $10 million to pay for repairs, the fine is a small insult atop a larger injury.
According to Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd, the state requires the town to have 24 RBCs running at a given time.
In 2015, before the problem occurred, the town planned to buy four new RBC gear boxes a year.
At a cost of $22,000 each, there’s a reason it wasn’t done all at once.
Three of the new gearbox units then failed, causing a chain reaction that knocked out all but a third of the others.
The plant is now running with 25 RBCs, one more than the state requires.
It must also submit a plan on how it intends to replace and maintain its RBCs.
Fixing the plant will require the town to bond between $9.5 and $11 million.
Though to hear some people talk, the penalty will lead to Bennington going bankrupt.

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