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Bristol selectboard discusses additional water line extension

BRISTOL — A range of water and sewer issues dominated the Bristol selectboard’s Nov. 6 meeting.
Board members discussed and said ‘Aye’ to three items that OK’d spending a little more than $11,000; but they decided to study a fourth project that would probably cost considerably more.
This past Monday, the selectboard:
•  Voted to spend $2,500 to have Green Mountain Engineering update its 2007 engineering report on possible upgrades to the town septic field between Basin and South streets. This wastewater treatment system serves the downtown area. According to Town Administrator Valerie Capels, the town recently received notice that it has advanced into the “fundable range” on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund priority list, and could be eligible for a planning loan.
•  Awarded $2,600 to Masterson and Son Excavation to repair the hillside bordering the municipal septic area. Masterson was the lowest of three bidders, who also included Acker Excavating and Heffernan Excavating. John “Peeker” Heffernan, co-owner/operator of Heffernan Excavating, recused himself from the decision. Heffernan was not at Monday’s meeting, which was chaired by Selectman Joel Bouvier.
•  Authorized $6,100 to purchase a new hand-held water meter reader — close to half the regular price due to a limited-time offer.
Finally, the board discussed at some length the advisability of an additional extension of the town water line from Woodland Apartments on Lovers Lane to Orchard Terrace.
An estimate from Green Mountain Engineering puts the cost of the extension at $123,000, for all phases of the proposed project, design through construction. The question before the selectboard Monday night was whether to authorize $11,000 for Green Mountain Engineering to come up with a design.
In May 2016, Bristol voters approved a $1.1 million bond to repair the water line along West Street and to extend the water line to Lovers Lane. That bond is financing four closely related projects, now nearing the end of construction: 1) replacing the century-old West Street water line from Airport Drive to Maple Street, $490,951; 2) extending town water to Lovers Lane, $285,949; 3) upgrading stormwater handling on West Street, to address drainage problems and bring that roadway into compliance with the Vermont Clean Water Act, $235,652; 4) extending the water line to the new fire station, $102,468.
The cost of extending the water system to Lovers Lane was 26 percent of that $1.1 million bond. That extension allowed the town to sell acreage behind the new fire station to Stoney Hill Properties, to be developed as a new Bristol business park.
Monday night, the selectboard decided to gather more information and continue the discussion of extending town water to Orchard Terrace at an upcoming meeting. Questions were raised about the number of households/businesses on Orchard Terrace, how many would commit to tie in to an extended water system, and who would bear the cost. Selectboard member Ted Lylis asked that in future he’d like to see estimates from other firms, and several other members of the selectboard concurred.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].

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