Part of a costly project to meet a state mandate will be sent to Danbury voters in November. The City Council this week agreed to forward a request for $10 million in bonding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant and facilities system. A phosphorus removal system is needed because of mandates to improve emissions from the plant. The plant in Danbury serves several area towns including Bethel, Brookfield and Ridgefield. Council President Joe Cavo says they will have to share the burden of the cost.
Councilman Paul Rotello asked Public Utilities Superintendent David Day about orthophosphate being added to the water. Day says it provides corrosion protection for the pipes. DEEP brought up the additive, but he doesn't think the amount put into the water isn't affecting the phosphorous that has to be removed.
There was some discussion about what would happen if voters reject this $10 million in November.
Corporation Counsel Les Pinter says Danbury potentially face a state consent order to fund this project some other way. He says the City would probably petition the state about what happened and request a delay, but he notes they are pretty strict with their requirements.
Mayor Mark Boughton says when the federal Environmental Protection Agency and DEEP were approached about the possibility of voters rejecting the funding. Those agencies said it's not their problem, and the permit could be rescinded. Boughton says the City wouldn't be able to discharge and the plant would have to be shut down.
When it comes to state grant funding, a delay could bump Danbury to the back of the line. The City is just under the wire now on timelines presented to DEEP. He says DEEP could go to next community in line and give them the money Danbury is waiting for.
The other municipalities that use the plant kick in about 13-percent. Boughton met with those municipal leaders Wednesday to tell them what their share would be.