The first shovels will hit the ground on Monday, beginning the long-awaited initial construction of the town of Pomfret's North End Water District.
Rob Klavoon of the town's engineering firm for the project, Wendel Companies, updated the town board Wednesday night at a regular meeting.
Not all easement agreements have been signed and returned by property owners, according to Klavoon, but outstanding agreements won't hamper initial construction. Town Supervisor Don Steger said "several are permanent" easements.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Rob Klavoon of Wendel Companies updates the town of Pomfret council members on progress toward construction of the North End Water District.
A total of 34 easement notices were sent out to property owners for both temporary and permanent easements related to the water project and its construction. Temporary easements were selected to allow passage of equipment and workers, while permanent easements were chosen based on a need for long-term equipment, such as meters for mains.
Klavoon told the board 12 easement agreements were outstanding, but that number was potentially revised downward, pending research through paperwork. Councilperson Ann Eckmann said she recalled one of the names on the list as someone she spoke with at a public informational session about the water project, and she notarized that property owner's agreement. Eckmann told Klavoon it was handed over to a representative from Wendel along with other paperwork that night. Board members agreed to contact others on the list. Klavoon told the board to have residents with questions call his office. "I would be happy to address their concerns," he said.
On Monday, construction will begin for the project on Chautauqua Road. "It's leaking pretty bad there right now," Klavoon said, and explained they've been asked by the Department of Transportation to delay construction on Routes 20 and 60 until after winter to avoid problems with snow plows. Webster and Rood roads and Seymour Street will follow construction on Chautauqua Road.
The final date for property owners to return applications to tie into the water system is Jan. 11. Klavoon said about 65 percent of residents in phase one of the new district have return applications, and his office has received about 100 phone calls with questions related to installation of lines to homes.
Klavoon also explained a form to submit to the DOT would be helpful to have the board authorize so contractors involved with the project will not be required to purchase "excessive bonds" to conduct work. The DOT, Klavoon explained, requires contractors to carry large amounts of insurance, which could be covered under existing policies carried by the town. Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro explained if the form was not submitted to the DOT, contractors would have to submit different forms and carry specific insurance to meet requirements, which may slow down the process. The board adopted a resolution to authorize Steger to sign the required form for the DOT.
The beginning of construction on the water project comes after years of delays in negotiations with the village of Fredonia. "This is definitely something to celebrate," Eckmann said of the long-awaited project commencement.
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