Shelton Aldermen deny water main extension request

Photo of Brian Gioiele

There will not be any water main extension for the residents on Fairlane Drive, Millbrook Road and Short Street.

Citing opposition from the majority of homeowners in that area, the Board of Aldermen rejected a petition, signed by 19 property owners along the three roads, calling for a water main extension to Fairlane Drive, Millbrook Road and Short Street.

“This is a huge expense for the homeowners,” said Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr. “You are talking somewhere like $32,000. Granted it will push up the value of your house, but who can afford it? People who are rejecting this are people on fixed incomes, they’re retired. It does not make sense.”

A public hearing was held last month, and it was continued to Thursday so City Engineer Rimas Balsys could obtain ballots from all homeowners in that area.

Anglace said that 39 households responded, with 54 percent opposed, 38 percent in favor and three who did not respond. That display of opposition, combined with the excessive cost, led the aldermen to deny the request.

“There are no clear positive majorities on any street which would show support for a reduced project scope,” stated Balsys in a letter read by Anglace at the meeting. “Because no clear positive majority exists, I recommend the Board of Aldermen deny the petition.”

The city engineer’s office prepared cost estimates, which called for a total project cost of $919,340. When factoring in the 39 properties served and a $627 rebate from Aquarion Water Co. per home, the city engineer’s office projected a base water main assessment of $22,946.

According to the city engineer’s office, the assessment estimate used the city’s most recent water main installation costs from the Birdseye Road work. This estimate assumes a considerable amount of rock would be encountered, which would not be paid to the contractor if no rock is encountered.

Aquarion Water Co. policy requires the installation of a meter pit at the end of the water service connection in the homeowner’s front yard at the property line. A rebate from the water company for $627 is issued to the city for each meter pit installation. The rebate is applied to the water main assessment of the property where the meter is located. All property owners would benefit from the rebate and the reduced assessment, whether they connect to the public water supply or not.

Permit fee change approved

The aldermen did approve a proposed amendment to the city ordinance dealing with the boat launching ramp/picnic area’s permit fees and non-fee parking. The change calls for an increase in permit fees for non-Shelton boat owners wishing to use the boat launch ramp and picnic area.

The annual fee is proposed to be raised from $100 to $175. The Parks & Recreation Commission had recommended an increase to $125, but Mayor Mark Lauretti called for $175, which was unanimously approved by the aldermen.

Another amendment to this ordinance now requires permits to be prominently affixed on the permittee’s boat trailer.