Letter: Old Lyme WPCA Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

“Old Lyme WPCA Hires Consultants, Debates Sewer funding and Costs” (CT Examiner 1/15/2020) makes a few things clear.

  1. The WPCA has spent several years trying to find a legal equation to force the 7.4/9.5 mil cost of sewers onto the backs of the working-class SV property owners.  The WPCA now plans to spend additional tax dollars to hire consultants and attorneys to try one more time.   (Probably won’t be the last time.)    
     
  2. The three private beach associations want to run their sewer pipes up down and across the town-owned streets of Swan, Hartford and Portland, to a pump station that the private beaches will build on private property located in the town’s Sound View area.  Not sure what Old Lyme gets in return, but apparently not much since the proposed contract is well, being reviewed again.  
  3. There would be 4 parties in the cost sharing plans and agreements.  The Town of Old Lyme would only be one of four (not a great negotiating position).  

  4. The Sound View Commission, established by Board of Selectmen in 2009, has not been informed, included or consulted on any of this. They are not 1 of 4.  They are zero.

Chairman Prendergast made the vague statement that it doesn’t make economic sense to have two pump stations. Hmm. I am not an advocate of sewers. It’s a lot of money for a solution that even Vice-Chair Chang has candidly admitted will fail when the water table rises. 

But if it does come to that, precisely how much more would it cost to build a small, cottage like pump house that would fit peacefully into the neighborhood, and service just public streets? A small pump house that would allow the town to replace those porta potties with a bath house, as promoted when this project first went to referendum, and was quietly dropped from the plans when the pump station moved to private property. 

Certainly, that bath house (vs porta potties), would make the area more desirable, benefiting both residential and commercial properties. More importantly though, that small pump house would allow the town to be 100% in charge of current and future decisions regarding the town’s septic system. 100% in control is 100% better than 1 in 4.   

Mary Daley
Old Lyme

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