Surveys due for Pomfret water district’s second phase

First and foremost, if you are a town of Pomfret resident who desperately needs public water, you must be sure to fill out a survey mailed to you; then, get your well water quality tested, provide a water sample or a picture of a sample and write up a letter of support detailing your water difficulties and drop it all off at the town hall immediately.

That was the message at a public informational meeting Thursday at the BOCES LoGuidice Center for residents of roads under consideration for Phase II of the North End Water District. Wendel engineers Lauren Glose and Robert Klavoon gave a presentation to about 60 attendees informing them of what they can do to help get their roads recommended for the next phase of water line construction.

“Those surveys are critically important to us,” Glose stressed. “Without those pieces of paper documenting what you have and what troubles you have in your home, we’re not able to build the best case for the Health Department. So, by submitting those survey applications, we could really get a good basis for … pushing through our recommendation.”

Klavoon said out of 275 surveys sent out, only 41 have been turned in.

“Talk to your neighbors, get them involved,” he added.

Many residents in the water district have untreated well water with poor quality (i.e. orange or brown tinges, ridden with sulfur). One person said the water actually corrodes copper pipes.

“This water problem affects us so much,” North Road resident Kathi Leone said. “I hope you have a heart for people in this room, because living with bad water is horrible, and I hope it’s not going to be just dollars and cents. My husband and I built a house 27 years ago, had the absolute best copper pipes put in, and … the water ate through the pipe, so we had to put in all new, plastic pipes.”

Glose and Klavoon will give their street recommendations to the Pomfret Town Board during its special meeting Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m., meaning surveys must be in as soon as possible. Glose said many factors will be looked at for the recommendations, including the cost-benefit ratio, housing density, residential need and hydraulics. The town board will make the final decision as to which roads will become part of Phase II.

“We will be looking at a few different options to see what is the most effective economically and serving the most amount of people as we can,” Glose said. “We want to make sure this is affordable and reasonable for the residents to have their public water.”

The timeline is now crunched because the hardship application for project funding is due March 1. A funding decision will be announced by the Health Department Oct. 1.

All residents of roads selected for Phase II will be required to pay an annual fee, which is not currently known by the engineers since Phase II is still in development. Phase I residents had a target service charge of $525 for a single-family home.

“Our aim is to try to keep it around that same cost. The service charge includes the ($300) capital cost, which is part of the bond repayment, and is set by the board on an annual basis. That appears on your tax bill,” Glose said. “The second is the actual water consumption cost, which is billed quarterly and paid directly to the town for water use.”

Owners of vacant land in Phase I pay $10 per year.

Residents who own homes that will be hooking up to public water must also pay for installing the connecting pipes from their homes to the curb.

“I’ve done studies, and it costs about $36 a month to run your electric water pump to your well pump (alone), so it’s really quite a bargain hooking up to the water line,” Webster Road resident Jim Christy said.

The following streets are under consideration for Phase II: Webster Road (west of Rood Road), Farel Road, Van Buren Road, Walden Road, Ellicott Road, Adams Road, North Road, Lowell Road, Lamberton Road, Straight Road, Christy Road, Harmon Hill Road, Lakeview Road, Eagle Street, Wilbur Road and Berry Road (outside the Berry Road Water District).

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