Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Bolton Lakes project to get $8 million

By Kym Soper
Journal Inquirer
Published: Friday, January 30, 2009 11:50 AM EST

BOLTON — The effort to install sewers in the Bolton Lakes area was to take a step forward with approval of $8 million in state funds today.

The money is part of $135 million in clean water project funding that the State Bond Commission was to approve today.

The sewer system, which will affect about 360 homes in Bolton and 140 homes in Vernon, will feed into the Manchester water-treatment plant. It will eliminate the need for individual septic systems on homes around the lakes, many of which are failing.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said that besides protecting the quality of rivers, lakes, and streams, the bonding also is a form of economic stimulus as the projects will maintain or create jobs for those involved.

Bolton’s five-phase, multiyear project is estimated at a total of $17 million. Officials hope to put the project out to bid in February with groundbreaking slated for April.

This latest round of funding comes from the state’s Clean Water Fund, which was created in 1987 and is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Bolton Lakes project has been on the state agency’s priority list for some time, Bolton Town Administrator Joyce Stille said, adding that there are several sources of funding for the project, including other state and federal grants.

For two decades, officials in the two towns have worked to bring sewers to residents in the Bolton Lakes area to satisfy a 1999 government mandate requiring property owners to switch from septic systems to sewers.

Because engineering studies found Manchester’s sewer system was under-loaded and able to accept the extra flow, the town was approached with the idea of running the line into Bolton along Manchester’s East Middle Turnpike. Homeowners along the route will have the opportunity to hook into the line at no cost to that town.

The first phase of the work will run from Bolton Notch Pond along Route 44 to the area near Shady Glen restaurant. Construction on the full project is expected to run through 2011.

Officials say long-term loans from the federal Department of Agriculture will help pay for the project as it unfolds, and user fees will help pay off the debt.

Bolton and Vernon will share the cost, but Bolton has assumed a leadership role because of its larger share of customers.

The Bolton Lakes Regional Water Pollution Control Authority is overseeing the project. The agency is comprised of officials from both communities and is the first of its kind in the state.

Other projects the State Bond Commission was expected to approve funding for today include $55 million for upgrades to West Haven’s sewage-treatment plan; $34.8 million for improvements to Norwalk’s influent pump station; $50 million for improvements to the combined sewer system belonging to the Metropolitan District Commission, New Haven Water Pollution Authority, and Bridgeport; and $2.2 million for regional disposal facilities for fats, oils, and grease in the cities of Torrington and New Haven.