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This Week: Vote on $2.8 Million Sewer Project

The bond proposal to build a sewer line — the subject of a Town Meeting vote on Wednesday, Feb. 26 — could open the Hawleyville section of town to development.

The Newtown Municipal Center at Fairfield Hills. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
The Newtown Municipal Center at Fairfield Hills. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
[Editor's note: this article was originally published earlier this month.]

Newtown voters will decide the fate of a $2.8 million sewer project during a special Town Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.

It's a project years in the making — and one that officials say could give Newtown a significant economic jolt.

The project would build a sewer line in the Hawleyville section of town, along a section of Route 6 and onto a portion of Route 25. Officials say the project will open up a world of possibility for development in the area, which is just off exit 9 on Interstate 84.

But before the project can move forward, residents have to decide if they want to take out a loan for $2.8 million to pay for it. You'll have that opportunity during a Town Meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the municipal center at Fairfield Hills.

As spelled out in the bond resolution, the specific areas that would be served by the sewer line are Route 6, west of Whipporwill Hill Road to Splendid Place, and along Route 25 to serve a section of Covered Bridge Road.

First Selectman Pat Llodra says the area contains three sizable properties that are "poised for development" — one is 100 acres, another is 40 acres, and a third is 33 acres.

The town has missed out on the development of those properties because of the absence of sewer lines, she says, recalling that talk of putting sewers in there has been ongoing for several years. Setting the stage for development, by constructing the sewer lines, will ultimately help create a better balance of the town's Grand List — to take some of the tax burden off of residents, Llodra says.

"I'm concerned about that balance," she says. "We need more presence in our Grand List."

Hal Kurfehs, chairman of the Western CT Economic Development Alliance, says the sewer project would give the area a needed jolt.

Kurfehs says anyone looking to develop a large parcel like those in the Hawleyville area is not going to put it in their playbook if it doesn’t have sewer lines. 

"It’s not cheap," he says. 

As for the town, Kurfehs says: "It’s like any investment … it can go south or it can blossom. You’re taking a risk, and if it turns out well you're a hero, and if it doesn't, you're something else.”        
Concerned Parent February 26, 2014 at 08:57 PM
81-11. Game over! Excuse me while I perform my development touchdown dance.
philip palilla February 26, 2014 at 09:28 PM
With love...you are kidding...The 2nd to the last speaker made the most sense re: tax abatement credits. CT IS NOT COMPETITIVE. I would have moved my business out of this town long ago if I could. Keep dreaming of reduced property taxes.
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com February 26, 2014 at 09:33 PM
Concerned parent you sure put one over the taxpayer . Well get a copy of the meeting to replay when the facts come back to roost.
Donna Ball February 26, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Great, Hawleyville will get Two Sewers for the Price of One! The one Fred will install underground, and the one that will come from blight, traffic, pollution, and scars upon the land! AND no property tax relief! Well done, Economic Developers!
Henery Hawk February 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Interesting comment Bruce. Did you vote against the sewers?

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