SOUTHINGTON – The town won’t be spending any money on sewer improvements for a 29-home subdivision on Miller Farm Road.
David Zoni, chairman of the sewer committee, told the Town Council that his group voted unanimously to take no action after considering a range of options.
In an agreement signed by developer LePage Homes and the town in 1997, the homes were connected to the town’s sewer system via a common forced main and by individual pumps for each home, since the sewer connection was uphill of the development.
The agreement obliges residents to connect to a gravity sewer within two years of its construction but places no deadline on the town for installing such a system, according to Town Attorney Carolyn Futtner. She also found that the town had no obligation to help the residents repair or replace their own pumps and that the cost of such work was on the homeowners.
The individual pumps installed in the 1990s are getting to the end of their expected life. Some have required replacement or repair, according to the town’s engineering department.
The council wanted the sewer committee to evaluate courses of action that included doing nothing, installing new pumps in each home at a total cost of $145,000, and installing a small pump station for just under $1 million.
Dawn Miceli, Town Council vice chairwoman and a Democrat, said she hasn’t heard from residents of the area on the issue. She supported the sewer committee’s recommendation and said it was based on Futtner’s opinion.
“They gleaned that the town was not responsible,” Miceli said.
While failing sewer pumps was a concern for Miller Farm Road residents, Miceli said the price for fixing the issue was high for the town.
“It was a large ticket item that would service only a few,” she said.
The council didn’t need to take action in support of the sewer committee’s recommendation.
Zoni said residents were sent a letter notifying them of the town attorney’s opinion. No residents spoke at the council meeting earlier this month when Zoni gave his presentation to the council and recommended that they take no action.
While there is a long-term goal of getting more areas of town on the sewer system, Zoni said it “doesn’t look like (a gravity sewer) is going to happen” with Miller Farms Road in the near future.
He said the residents were responsible for the maintenance of their home pumps, but it’s less expensive to repair or replace them than operate a septic system.
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