Pomfret hears $15.2 Million water main plan

OBSERVER Photo by M.J.Stafford Eric Wies of CPL outlines a plan for construction of Phase 2 for the town of Pomfret’s North End Water District at a meeting of the Town Board.

Pomfret officials heard an ambitious plan for new water lines in the northern part of town during this month’s meeting of the Town Board.

Eric Wies, of Buffalo civil engineering firm CPL, outlined the so-called Phase 2 of the North End Water District. Phase 2 is a project that’s been talked about for years, but no firm plans for construction were ever put in place.

Last week, Wies set forth a new plan, which would add 184,000 linear feet of 8-inch water main. It would cost $15,296,000.

He called it a “big-picture project to serve everyone” in the north end of town who did not get access to new lines during Phase 1. The project would exclude Van Buren, which has its own district and is also the subject of water line additions.

As for the water supplier, “we’ve looked at dividing this up into Fredonia and the North County Water District,” Wies said. He added, “We made the dividing line at the railroad, primarily because of hydraulic grade.” Everything north of the tracks would get North County Water District supply, while areas to the south would get Fredonia water.

Another reason to divide between suppliers at the railroad is that “crossing the railroads (with pipes) is really, really expensive,” Wies said.

He laid out a slew of options for grant and loan funding. However, he said that for a project this large, town taxpayers will likely have to foot some of the bill.

It’s quite unclear right now just how much. Under one proposal laid out by Wies, residential customers would pay, on average, $202 more per year. Other funding proposals, which count on millions more in grant money than that one, add as little as $18 a year to the typical water bill.

“The only other consideration is lopping off an area of the project,” Wies said. However, he suggested that would be unsatisfactory, as it would anger those left out, and the cost of the work will only go up as time goes on.

“I think our first big decision is how much of this we want to try and accomplish,” Pomfret Town Supervisor Dan Pacos said.

He added, “On first glance, my preference is to do the whole enchilada.”

Pacos said he would put the plan back on the agenda for next month. He said he wanted the town board to think about it, then discuss it at the December meeting.


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