August 27, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
WHITING — Since the Agency of Natural Resources last May determined the Whiting Village School’s septic system has failed, the school board is proposing a new mound system to be built on the southern end of the Quesnels’ Holsteins Farm, 4,000 feet from the school.
If district voters approve, the board plans to lease the Quesnels’ village lot for $1,000 a year on a perpetual basis and issue a $100,000 bond for the construction of the system, which would begin this fall.
The board will hold a public meeting at the school on Monday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m., and district voters will be asked to decide on the $100,000 project by Australian ballot at the Town Hall the following day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The school district may be eligible for a 30 percent reimbursement from the state if the current sewer system is deemed an imminent health and safety problem.
“We have submitted our paperwork for that,” said Brenda Flemming, Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union business manager. “We’re hoping we’ll know before the informational meeting on the 10th.”
Over the summer, board members looked into a number of locations closer to the school but ran into roadblocks at each one. A high water table and heavy clay soil directly behind the school and on the adjacent south side make those locations inappropriate for a mound system, they said. And on the north side, the town’s water supply backup well is too close.
But according to Flemming, the distance from the school to the Quesnel farm shouldn’t present a problem.
“Pumping (the effluent), the traveling, is the easy part and that’s the most inexpensive part,” Flemming said. “Building the mound system, and fixing the soil is the hard part.”
Most of Whiting’s soil is clay, the board found while working with engineers and soil maps. But a few areas have slightly lighter soil, like the Nellis stony loam soil at the Quesnel farm.
“In (the engineers’) opinion, pumping the effluent to a better, lighter soil type like Nellis stony loam soil would increase the life expectancy of the system and would be cheaper than hauling the necessary sand and gravel to make poorer sand suitable,” the board wrote in a letter sent to Whiting residents last week.
Despite the merger between the Whiting and Sudbury schools, which is expected to come into effect in the fall of 2008, Whiting residents alone will fund the sewer project, a decision the two boards came to last year.
“They are sharing educational costs, but not facility costs,” Flemming said.