This installment of News and Notes for February 2017 celebrates the achievements of Mr. Walter Woods, who is three months away from his 99th birthday, and is retiring from the Advisory Board as the Wellesley representative. We also discuss: The Authority’s read more
Three months away from his 99th birthday, Walter Woods is retiring from the Advisory Board as the Wellesley representative. Walter has been an integral part of the Advisory Board from day one.
In fact, before day one, he served on the pre-Advisory Board Formation Committee to develop our by-laws, hire staff, and help with other endeavors. Over the next 32 years, Walter served as a member of our Executive Committee, holding at times the offices of Secretary, Chairman of Operations, and Chair of the Advisory Board.
While already impressive, this represents only a fraction of Walter’s career. He is an engineering graduate of MIT, worked as a structural engineer at NASA, designed jet fighters for Republic Aircraft, and served as Chief Mechanical and Engineering Officer for the MBTA. Furthermore, he was elected to the Wellesley Board of Public Works and served over 15 years, including four as Chairman.
In his “spare” time, Walter makes wine. Not only is this wine delicious, but it has also been awarded gold medals in numerous competitions. He is an avid gardener, and many have benefited from his expert tips.
MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey stated at our meeting, “Walter is a true gentleman and a dedicated public servant. Over the years, his sharp intellect and common sense approach have greatly contributed to the success of the MWRA Advisory Board, and in doing so, the success of the MWRA.”
AB Chairman Lou Taverna noted, “Walter has served with distinction and diligence. Our successes today are routed in the commitment of members such as Walter. He is irreplaceable.”
Thank you, Walter, for all that you have contributed.
Last week, the Advisory Board presented information from a UMass Boston Collins Center Report, identifying the crucial relationship between water and sewer infrastructure and potential economic growth. read more
This installment of News and Notes for January 2017 talks about giving the communities a voice: The role of the Advisory Board is to provide feed back on MWRA projects and initiatives. The AB weighed in on two such undertakings, voting positions on the Metropolitan Tunn read more
The role of the Advisory Board is to provide feedback on MWRA projects and initiatives. At the January 19 meeting in Canton, the AB weighed in on two such undertakings.
The first was the MWRA’s emerging plans for system-wide water redundancy. Having participated in a half-day information session on redundancy in December, AB members unanimously voted to support an emerging MWRA plan to insure water system redundancy to the metropolitan area.
AB members included five conditions to their recommendation:
1. Use a Program Management Division (PMD) approach, similar to the Boston Harbor Project
2. Select deep rock tunnel versus surface piping alternative
3. Support the MWRA’s recommendation for two tunnels, north and south
4. Recommend that MWRA construct both tunnels concurrently, rather than in a phased manner
5. Pursue strategies that dedicate revenue from non-typical, or one-time water users sources (e.g. drought connections) to help fund the Metropolitan Tunnel Redundancy
The MWRA Board of Directors will take up their discussion on redundancy as we move forward in the spring. The Advisory Board looks forward to participating with the Board and MWRA staff in shaping this critical project.
AB members also weighed in on expanding eligible projects under the Local Community I/I Grant/Loan Program. This community-initiated discussion was first presented at our Operations Committee meeting in November. Eligible projects now include:
Permanent flow monitoring equipment
Sewer inspection equipment
Building inspections, smoke testing, dye testing
Administrative tasks related to planning/development of procedures and public outreach
Database development and mapping of connections to public utilities
This expansion will provide communities more tools to upgrade their local sewer systems.
Your voice can make a difference. Please attend AB Operations and regular meetings. There are also seats available on our Executive Committee. Feel free to contact us for more information.
The Green Sheetis a monthly video series that focuses on financial topics. The question staff asked was what to do if we had a great topic for a video that wasn’t financial in nature? Voila, the Just the FAQsvideo series was created. The inaugural episode outlined the role and responsibilities of the Advisory Board, followed by other editions. Unlike the regular Green Sheet, this series was intended to be used on an as-needed basis.
The latest edition of Just the FAQs takes on the topic of watershed management, explaining the history and the importance of watershed protection in the MWRA waterworks system. As always, we hope you find these videos informative and helpful.