The Towns of Morristown, Richmond, Waterbury and Johnson Village have been awarded a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) $25,156 Ecosystem Restoration Grant to purchase a specialized piece of equipment. Thanks to the state grant and a previously awarded federal highway stormwater grant the four municipalities will purchase and share a high efficiency trailer mounted vacuum or “Vactor.” The vactor will be used to clean municipal stormwater catchbasins, manholes, culverts, pipes and other municipal infrastructure. The trailer mounted vactor will be towed behind a truck owned by each municipality. The Lamoille County Natural Resources Conservation District will assist the four municipalities in managing and scheduling the vactor. The equipment will be stored and maintained at the Village of Johnson municipal garage. The Town of Morristown will act as the fiscal agent for the grants.
The four municipalities will form a regional collaborative modeled after a similar collaborative in Lamoille County to operate a hydroseeder for erosion control. Two municipalities: Morristown and Johnson, are located in Lamoille County with Waterbury located in Washington County and Richmond in Chittenden County.
The project will serve the dual purpose of protecting the state’s water quality by removing road sand, silt and trash from drainage structures before it can be washed into rivers and streams and by increasing the level of preventative maintenance of municipal infrastructure and thereby protecting the municipality’s water line structures from failure or clogging.
Vactors are versatile pieces of equipment that can be used for a variety of tasks including storm and sewer cleaning, culvert cleaning, leaf pickup and stormwater treatment practice cleaning. Over the long term having a locally owned vactor will save the municipality considerable dollars by not having to contract out the work, as well as by reducing the number of costly emergency responses by increasing preventative maintenance.
The four municipalities were very interested in getting this grant as a vactor is an expensive piece of equipment and both the VTDEC and the Vermont Agency of Transportation did not want to award it to any one municipality and felt it was more appropriate to award a rural collaborative which would give it substantial yearly use.