Prospect must raise funds to secure grant

PROSPECT — The town is looking to put in a two-mile waterline on New Haven Road (Route 69). Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) contacted Mayor Robert Chatfield in January and April in reference to a federal waterline grant worth $495,000. After what Chatfield called “administrative costs,” the grant would be worth $488,000.

The town is responsible to raise an additional $392,000 in order to be eligible for the federal funding.

Chatfield looked to Region 16 and two undisclosed companies to provide 100 percent of that sum. He said he does not want any of the matching funds to come out of the town funds or taxes. Chatfield did not formally present this grant to the town council, but said, “I believe I’ve mentioned it in my mayor’s reports.”

Region 16’s Talmadge Hill property, a piece of land bought for the future construction of a new school, falls right in the middle of the area where Chatfield wants to construct the waterline.

After much discussion, Chatfield asked the board to budget between $35,000 and $40,000 toward the matching funds. Once the job is bid out to a contractor, the school board will know the official amount. The board tabled further discussion until its July 21 meeting.

Construction will take place in the shoulder of the road, which, according to Chatfield, will save time and money because workers will not have to dig up and replace asphalt. To install the waterline, workers must first dig up the land, lay the pipe, install a rubber gasket, and put in a layer of chlorine and sanitizing chemicals. After the pipe is covered and gravel has been replaced, water will flow into the pipe for one week to sanitize and dissolve all the chemicals. Once the chlorine and chemicals dissolve, the water can be tested.

Each pipe is about 20 feet long, and according to Chatfield, on a good day workers should average 400 feet. Assuming the work is completed at this speed, the two-mile stretch would take 27 days, or just longer than five normal work weeks.

“As soon as I prove [to the federal Environmental Protection Agency] that I have commitments, we can start to bid out,” Chatfield said. He applied for a grant to extend a waterline to the area previously occupied by U.S. Cap & Jacket, a defunct corporation, for next year. According to Chatfield, who wanted to make clear that the town does not own U.S. Cap & Jacket, the land is contaminated and needs a water supply in order to begin the remediation process.

“Cap & Jacket did not contaminate the land,” Chatfield said, “but since they were the last to own the land, it is their responsibility to clean it up.”

The waterline plays a key role in the rehabilitation of the property, which Chatfield hopes to restore to a functioning facility one day.

In the case of the waterline, Chatfield wants to get started as soon as possible. “I would like to start before next spring, but I’m not sure we will be able to because the D.E.P [state Department of Environmental Protection] might want to run tests and studies on the land.”

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