The price and scope are subject to change, but Hounsfield residents this week received an early outline of what a potential sixth water district would look like.
The sprawling, non-contiguous district is an attempt to supply public water to areas of the town not served by any of its other districts, including farm areas and seasonal camping sites that have been difficult to reach.
Youre serving basically a very large area, (where) we have a population with very different needs, said Eric A. Pond, vice president of Barton & Loguidice, Watertown.
The district plans, which may not be finalized for several years, were discussed Thursday night during a special informational meeting at the town office.
The estimated cost of the project is $13,425,000, provided the town is able to secure a no-interest, 30-year loan from the state that would save about $11 million in comparison to the next best funding agreement the town could make.
In its current form, the district would have about 120,000 feet of water main. In comparison, the towns newly developed Water District 5 has about 31,259 feet of pipe.
Individual EDUs were estimated to come in at about $693, though that number could change based on the number of properties that remain. Combined with average use of 12,500 gallons per month, the projected annual cost would be approximately $1,083.
A potential district area survey organized by the town showed that 59.9 percent of town residents falling in the potential district were interested, compared to 40.1 percent who were not interested. Of respondents that said they were interested in the district, about 14 percent said they wanted the price reduced. Affordability will be a major concern, Mr. Pond said.
Among the benefits for residents, Mr. Pond said, would be improving fire protection and reducing house insurance costs, enhanced plumbing and regulated water quality.
As the town goes through the creation of the initial planning and gauges public interest, Mr. Pond said there were several series of decisions that had to be made before the district would be considered a reality and that the projects coverage areas could change based on public feedback.
This is really, really early on in the project, he said.
Other steps that would need to happen are the completion of a preliminary engineering report, the confirmation of funding for the district, and the mapping and planning of the planned district. The project will also have to be approved through the state Department of Environmental Conservations State Environmental Quality Review process.
Mr. Pond said that it may not be until 2018 that construction could begin on the project.
In the meantime, Mr. Pond said, more meetings will be held to hear residents concerns, including during warmer months when seasonal residents would be in the town.
Barton and Loguidices presentation from Thursday night can be found at http://wdt.me/UoVe3f.
Video of Thursdays presentation from Steve Weed Productions can be seen at http://wdt.me/Hounsfield-WD6.