Possible timeline, roads for Pomfret water district given

Preliminary results for the upcoming Phase II of the town of Pomfret’s North End Water District were given to the board during a recent workshop at the town hall.

Wendel engineers Lauren Glose and Robert Klavoon were on hand at the workshop to explain to the board how it should go about Phase II once Phase I is completed.

Klavoon said Phase I of the project is between 60 and 65 percent complete. All main water lines are completed for it, except for the one on Route 20 West, which will be tackled next and put in the ground by the beginning of the upcoming school year. He also said the contingency line for Phase I has a remaining balance of $164,000.

“This is taking into account all the things we’ve saved so far in the project, as well as overruns on things we have had to date,” he said.

The Wendel engineers also provided a preliminary timeline for Phase II of the plan, including steps such as a public hearing to gather feedback from affected customers around November and an application deadline for grant money by March of next year. If everything goes according to plan, Klavoon said, construction for Phase II could start as early as the spring of 2015.

Klavoon also provided the board with a list of several “roads of interest,” which included the pros and cons of having each one included in Phase II.

Several of the listed roads could potentially become an extension of areas already serviced by Phase I.

“We haven’t put any dollars and cents to any of this, but just looking through hydraulics and getting the most bang for our buck in return on investment and so on and so forth,” he said.

The following areas were included on the preliminary list in no particular order: Farel Road, between Route 20 West and Berry Road; Webster Road, from Route 60 east approximately 700 feet; Straight Road, from Route 60 to Christy Road; Christy Road, from Route 20 East to Straight Road; Adams Road and Webster Road; Lamberton Road, from Route 20 West to Lowell Road; Lowell Road, from the Portland town line to North Road; and North Road, from the Portland town line to Route 20 West.

Various positives for many of these areas were that additional service would improve upon existing water district lines, eliminate well water problems and/or create waterline loops to prevent stagnant water. Various negatives of many of the roads included potential pressure loss due to elevation along the waterline route, low population density and/or the creation of dead ends.

The engineers also said that people who will be serviced by Phase II might have to pay a little extra to cover costs as a result of potential affordability issues.

“Based on the population density we see as far as our customers, we do not believe you’re going to get Phase II for $275 a person,” Klavoon said. “You may be closer to $400 or $450, so you have to decide if that is palatable for the residents and for your constituents on these roads. That’s something we will have to take a temperature of, as far as during the public information meetings.”

During the discussion, the board also expressed interest in using remaining funds in Phase I to go back and fix several small areas with low water pressure.

“I would definitely want to spend that contingency money to hold those people harmless and get them where they need to be,” Councilwoman Ann Eckman said.

At the end of the workshop, the engineers reminded the board that everything presented to them is in the early stages.

“This is just something to get the conversation started with at this point,” Klavoon said. “We’re not pushing this. We’re just here to help and try to facilitate this.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall.

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