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Hounsfield begins planning for a sixth water district

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The town of Hounsfield is in the early stages of planning for a sixth water district, a multi-million dollar initiative that is intended to fill out the portions of the town that are not currently served by the five existing districts.

The initial cost estimate for the project is about $13 million, although that figure could increase or decrease depending on the level of interest from residents.

Councilman Stephen H. Lee said that in the past the distance between some residences and rock developments under the ground made it unfeasible to supply municipal water to certain areas, including sections of Route 3.

“Those folks have been begging for water,” he said. “We’ve struggled to figure out how we can get them water.”

However, combining several of these tougher-to-reach areas into one project could make it easier to receive financing through the state, Mr. Lee said.

“Doing it as one whole project makes it more affordable,” he said.

Currently, the town is mailing surveys to the owners of 500 parcels, equaling about 450 residences, to gauge their opinion on how they would like the project to proceed.

The Town Council at its meeting last week approved spending of up to $500 for the survey mailings.

The initial $13 million estimate for the project could change based on how residents respond to the town’s surveys.

“We’re covering a pretty large area,” Mr. Lee said. “We don’t want to cover an area where they don’t need it and don’t want it. We also want to make sure we haven’t overlooked somebody.”

Mr. Lee said the current target price for residents joining the planned district would be under $1,000 per year per residence, between equivalent dwelling units and debt service payments.

In addition to supplying new portions of the town with water, Mr. Lee said the district could also help existing districts perform better by connecting some of its current dead ends.

A public hearing will be scheduled within the next month for town residents to talk about the proposed new district.

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