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Sewer Assessment Costs Leave Residents Concerned, Angry

The Southington Town Council on Monday tabled a vote after approximately 40 residents from the Mount Vernon Road area expressed frustrations over the excessive costs and demands associated with sewer assessment #35.

Southington resident Gilles Cyr completed a septic system replacement less than a year before the town informed him that they would be installing sewers in front of his Mount Vernon Road home. Now he has five years to hook in and combined, the costs are set to exceed $30,000, he said.

“I have 20 feet of frontage and 350 feet to hook up, that would be $30,000 in a 10-year period. That’s an awful lot of money to ask me to dish out,” Cyr said.

The fact of the matter is Cyr is not alone in his concern either.

A group of nearly 40 residents came out to Southington Town Hall on Monday to express their concerns to the Southington Town Council regarding Sewer Assessment #35, a project that involved bringing sewer lines to 95 homes in the in Mount Vernon Road area and surrounding neighborhoods just north of Marion Avenue.

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For members of the town council, this is the second assessment of the year that has drawn ire from residents. due to what residents referred to as a “gross mishandling” of how the project was managed.

“I’m very sympathetic to people here and this project was done under the same regime,” said Helen Henne, who was one of those affected by sewer assessment #34. “I feel (the council) should really look at this and give people time to absorb the information. It looks like 35 no better than 34 – all this was mishandled by the town.”

Residents in the area are expected to front the costs of $94.91 per square foot for the installation and under town regulations, must connect to the lines in five years unless they gain an exception. If they don’t, they would face stiff penalties.

The concerns expressed, which included anger towards costs in excess to the $85 estimate per square foot of frontage and demands to hook up to homes that are set back from the road, led members of the town council to vote unanimously to table any action on the project so that concerns could be expressed.

Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback and Town Attorney Mark Sciota said they would be willing to sit with residents and would discuss exceptions for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, costs and hardship.

Councilman Louis J. Martocchio, member of the sewer committee, said the project has been the topic of discussion for some time now and paired with sewer assessment #34, has shown a serious need for the town to revamp it’s sewer assessment policies.

“I’m sure there will be much discussion between now and then regarding how the town will address this; what it will take,” he said. “The entire process needs to be overhauled. It’s on the (sewer committee) agenda already and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”

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Cliff W October 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM
“The entire process needs to be overhauled. It’s on the (sewer committee) agenda already and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.” Oh, so you mean that Tony isn't the devil?
Pensive October 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Why is the assessment based on property frontage? Incidentally, frontage isn’t measured in SQUARE FEET. Frontage has NO correlation with usage! An alternate could be: project total cost divided by the number of households served. Then freeze the assessment for those who don’t want to connect (until later).
fummin October 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Someone must pay for the excessive overtime being handed out like candy. Over 400 hours a year to one employee who is not even on call yet gets call in - 6 hrs pay for 35 minutes on a Sunday! That's nearly $200 nearly every week.out of OUR pockets.I suppose the finance dept figures lie.Nice way to pad the retirement at the rate payers expense. Welcome to the wonderful Town of Southington!
Harold October 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Take a look at the net worth of the home, if these homes cost almost a million dollars and they are raking in 6 figures I don't feel bad - they can afford it. It is the lesser value homes and incomes that can not.

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