SYRACUSE — The Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District met Monday evening, July 18, to handle monthly business and approve the adoption of the 2016 sewer use ordinance. The board discussed the month’s claims, approving the payment of each one other than the monthly bill to the Syracuse town.
Withholding payment on the Syracuse town bill came as a recommendation from District Superintendent Timothy Woodward, who expressed interest in delving deeper into charged flow rates. His recommendation fell on a willing group, as the board has become increasingly upset by the rate hikes imposed by the town.
In a comparison of July 2015 to July 2016, board president Rex Heil cited a nearly 75 percent increase in the bills from Syracuse to TCRSD. Woodward explained that the increase is closer to 35 or 40 percent once it is averaged out over the year, but board members weren’t satisfied. “I have gone through these numbers,” said board member Robert Dumford, “there have been times when I have come up with plain mathematical errors.” Members expressed displeasure with the method of “project to fix a project” that they feel the town is putting into effect, and has asked for answers on various charges.
As a solution to these billing questions, District Attorney Dick Green, Woodward, Dumford and several other members of the board have agreed to renew the use of their sewer study committee and contact Syracuse or other pertinent representatives to answer their questions and address rate increase concerns.
Woodward and project engineer Brian Houghton reported on the progress of the SWAP project around the lake area, noting substantial completion is still set for Sept. 4. Woodward is hoping to schedule start-up for Oct. 1 and be able to notify customers of their 90-day connection timeframe on that date. Green added that customers of the district will be billed at the inception of the running system, regardless of how much of the 90-day period they use to get their individual connection started. Woodward also suggested that homeowners begin or continue to get quotes on connecting their sewers.
Houghton outlined some of the district’s progress during the meeting, noting the wastewater treatment plant was at substantial completion with one of two clarifier tanks being painted and finalized. Contracts one and two are taking care of restoration items while the pump station is being added to following a $31,691 change order approved by the board. Houghton added he was expecting one additional change order in the estimated amount of $20,000.
The next monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Cromwell office on Monday, Aug. 15.
In other news:
- The TCRSD board held the second and third reading of the sewer use ordinance by title only, approving it after zero public comments or amendment suggestions.
- Houghton noted one customer located on SR 13 was unhappy with the cost of directional drilling in his area, noting a cost of nearly $2,500 for just 50 feet of line. Houghton recommended homeowners in this scenario or similar ones check into open cut to save money.
- Several customers have expressed concern on the timeframe of the mandatory connection period, as many of the homeowners are seasonal visitors.