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$40 Million Sewer Referendum Likely on the Horizon

The Farmington Water Pollution Control Facility is due for a large-scale upgrade.

When work was last done on the town’s water pollution control facility, officials anticipated it would be due for a major update in about 20 years. That was in 1995.

Now, Town Manager Kathy Eagen is predicting the Water Pollution Control Authority will recommend an upgrade of the facility be put to a bond referendum in the next year to 18 months. 

The estimated cost of the upgrade project is $52 million, with about $11 million covered by state grants.

But because Farmington operates the regional wastewater collection system, processing wastewater from Avon, Canton and Burlington, it will get a little help paying for the project.

“The town of Avon is a larger contributor, based on an agreement from 1970 and amended 10 years ago. Based on the flow and calculations, it could be $2-3 million,” Arnold said, though he wasn’t sure of the numbers. “Plainville is a small contributor and Burlington probably doesn’t have to buy in.”

Other entities with high usage, like the UConn Health Center, may be asked to contribute as well. 

The costs are not yet finalized, Arnold said, though a plan for the facilities upgrade has been made through a 2009 Facilities Plan Study. The WPCA hired a consultant to complete the study, which has been accepted both by the WPCA and by the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

A joint meeting of the Town Council and the WPCA will likely be held in early spring to discuss the issue.

As with the recent decision on how to approach the installation of sewers in some neighborhoods, the Town Council serves as the finance authority on the issue, while the WPCA makes the policy decision.

Saul Freedman October 11, 2012 at 02:58 PM
If it fails on the first vote, will we get a re-vote?
Kaitlin Glanzer (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM
It's an fair question but a different scenario. If people have septic tanks, they can choose to keep those instead of switching. But if people have public sewers they really need those to keep working, no?
Paul Chotkowski October 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Contrary to the sunshine being pumped by the BHO re-election campaign & the demonstrated management capabilities of Mitt Romney, the economy has terrible fundamentals. Between out of control deficit spending, which is projected to continue even under the Ryan budget proposal & Operation Twist / QE Infinity [$40 B monthly] which is monetizing the federal debt contrary to Bernanke's sworn testimony the current economic system is going to collapse. Stated plainly we are borrowing 40% of every dollar that we spend & the Fed is “printing” dollars to purchase 61% [2011] of the debt we are issuing not China or any other country the FED! Our fractional reserve banking system & our debt based economy is head for the trash heap of history! No one can change its course. What does this have to do with sewers? This is where you will need to hold onto your chairs & not fall down! I am in favor of updating the sewer system completely ASAP! Yes I would support a bond issue. Massive inflation is right around the corner & the only reason we have not seen it yet is the fact there is almost no Velocity [M2V is currently 1.576 the lowest on record]. Upgrade the system, lock in the financing & when the crunch comes, we will have a tangible asset that will serve the town for years to come. Future capital formation to fund a project like this is going to be very difficult to achieve at reasonable rates regardless of credit rating so do it now! BUT DO NOT FORCE HOMEOWNERS ON TO TOWN SEWERAGE!

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