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Town wants to renegotiate city of Watertown water deal

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The town of Watertown will have to work out a new agreement for city water before it proceeds with its planned northeast water district.

Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett said Thursday night that he intends to meet with City Manager Sharon A. Addison, maybe as soon as next week, to discuss a new agreement. The town and city are in the fifth year of a five-year water agreement.

Mr. Bartlett said he hopes to cut about $100 from the annual $800 cost that 280 equivalent dwelling units would pay if the water district is formed and the $2.1 million project proceeds.

Town residents who already get city water pay 200 percent more for it than users who live within the city, he said. He hopes to reduce that cost.

City Water Superintendent Michael J. Sligar could not be reached for comment Thursday night. But Mr. Sligar talked to Mr. Bartlett early last year about what it would take for the city to provide water to the district.

Contacted Thursday night, Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said he was unaware of the progress of the town’s water district. He could not provide specifics about what the town pays.

“I’m sure we’ll charge the same as any other water district,” he said.

Several years ago, residents along Weaver Road initially requested that the town form a new water district on that side of the town.

Meanwhile, the town is still trying to get property owners to sign up for the water district. The town needs 51 percent of the equivalent dwelling units to go along with forming the district or the project will not go forward.

The subject of the water district came up at Thursday night’s Town Council meeting when two residents asked about the progress of the project.

Norman G. Peterson, who lives at 20988 Weaver Road, told the Town Council that many residents on his road oppose the project. He gathered about 30 signatures on a petition notifying the town that residents do not want to purchase water from the town because they have springs that provide it adequately to their properties.

“If you put in water, a lot of people are going to fight it,” said Mr. Peterson, who has lived in his house for 56 years.

Mr. Bartlett told him the town would not complete water lines down Weaver Road if the majority of the residents do not want it. When the project first came up more than seven years ago, it was residents on Weaver Road who requested the town provide water to them, Mr. Bartlett said.

Rutland Hollow Run Road resident John Adams said residents who live on the hilly sections need town water because of problems with springs there. He told the Town Council he has had to purchase three new pumps for his property.

“Certainly, some people need it, desperately need it,” he said.

The city already provides some town residents with water.

In other news, the Town Council learned that COR Development, Fayetteville, intends to build a dedicated road at the Towne Center shopping complex off Route 3. The road would replace the entrance way to the Target store and improve access to the developer’s 296-unit Beaver Meadow Apartments behind the store.

COR, which would maintain the new road, is applying for a state grant to help finance the project, Mr. Bartlett said.

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