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Transit planning, water storage tank funding approved in Bethel

A Special Town meeting in Bethel Wednesday night has led to approval by resident on a couple of issues. 


Bethel residents approved acceptance of a $100,000 grant for Downtown Transit Oriented Development/Revitalization Planning, which was granted by the state in December.  The town will be contributing $150,000 to the project from the Bethel Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  A grant proposal was made to the state last November.


The town will focus on four types of analysis: transportation planning, sewer capacity examinations, environmental analysis, and economic/market analysis.  The information will then be used to generate a report guiding future planning efforts in the Bethel Train Station area. 


$442,000 in additional funding was also approved by Bethel residents at the Town Meeting in order to construct the Eureka Water Storage Tank on Long Ridge Road in Danbury.  The money would be bonded, and reduced by any grants the town could obtain.


Residents approved the construction during a December referendum on the initial $2.4 million project.  At that time officials said the health and fire safety project would ultimately be paid through state grants, loans and water-rate increases for 10,000 users over several decades.


There was a six year stalemate between Bethel and Danbury on the issue.


The State Health Department  said there is a water shortage in the Bethel downtown district, leading to a six year stalemate between the town and Danbury.  The City's Planning Commission time and again denied the request saying the Long Ridge Road area is designated as scenic.  An out-of-court settlement was reached between Bethel and Danbury.


When the stalemate was nearing an end, Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said no new industrial development could take place in Clarke Business Park because of the storage issue.  He called it a fragile system, sensitive to any kind of disruption, with any kind of pressure change causing rust to dislodge.

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Todd Schnitt

Local Headlines