Wendel gives Pomfret three options for water district

The list of roads for the Town of Pomfret North End Water District’s second phase will be finalized next Wednesday, but many residents on Lamberton, Lowell and North roads can rest assured knowing they will be on that list.

During Wednesday’s Pomfret Town Board special meeting, Supervisor Donald Steger read aloud a report from Wendel Engineering saying the town has three options to consider for the location of Phase II. Lamberton, Lowell and North roads are included in all three, and residents from those roads were present to hear the news.

“Somebody pinch me, I’m dreaming,” North Road resident Kathi Leone said after finding out she is one step closer to receiving public water. “Back in ’85, our house burnt down, and they ran out of water while they were trying to put our house fire out. We literally had to jump off a second story. No one got hurt, and the house was a total loss, but they ran out of water when they were fighting it. It is scary (not having fire hydrants).”

“A total of 257 surveys were sent out for feedback from residents … A total of 80 (positive) responses were received,” the report stated. “Of the 80 responses, five were from residents to the east of Chautauqua Road while 75 were to the west. Lamberton, Lowell and North Roads constituted 26 percent of the surveys received. Nineteen of the 21 surveys in this area were in favor of receiving water.”

The first option includes the portion of Berry Road within the Berry Road Water District (the existing line will be slip-lined here), North Road (from Route 20 up to the railroad), Farel Road (from Route 20 to Berry Road) and Webster Road (from Rood to Ellicott roads). A total of 33,646 feet of line would be installed. This option would cost $3,158,788 for the lines and would require a grant of almost $2 million over the 30 years of loan payments.

The cost for a single-family home would be $285 per year in all options, according to Steger.

“Option Two eliminates any extension on Webster … for a total of $2,322,320. A total of 24,186 feet of line is put in,” Steger said. “Option Three eliminates the Berry Road and Farel Road connection, and extends the Webster Road connection farther down to Harmon Hill Road, and going up Harmon Hill (until Ellicott Road). This is $2,524,603 and 28,456 feet of line is put in.”

Wendel’s report stated the three options were developed based on residential needs, water quality concerns, population density, hydraulics and the potential for water line loops to create redundancy and eliminate dead ends.

Councilwoman Ann Eckman said she would like to see a fourth option encompassing the roads in all three original options.

“We want to build the biggest and best case for as many residents as possible, knowing that if we don’t, then the funding is not there and we have to make some really tough decisions,” she said, referring to the hardship application due March 1 for grant money.

“The residents are the ones building the hardship case because we have to prove there’s a need,” Eckman added on the topic of the application. “Your letters, your water samples … are needed for this. (Wendel and the town board) are just going to be the ones that push, and hopefully it works, because we don’t know what the state will say.”

“We all appreciate that even an effort is being made, just to have a ray of hope has been something to hang onto, no matter what the outcome,” Leone replied.

The town board will finalize the list of roads at its next meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall.

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