Dorset Water Bond Passes
Posted On May 15, 2018
GNAT News Project
DORSET — A bond proposal to raise $700,000 from residents of Dorset’s water district and Fire District #1 passed easily during voting held on Monday, May 14, by a margin of 88-32.
Water and fire budgets for the districts, which cover most of Dorset from the middle of Morse Hill Road and west were also approved. East Dorset has its own fire district and is separate from this proposal. Ben Weiss, Abbot deRham, and Milton McWayne, incumbent officeholders and members of the governing Prudential Board, were also all re-elected to their posts.
The bond proposal called for $700,000 to be raised for upgrades to the water system in Dorset, which has endured restrictions on usage and expansion for the past few years. The bulk of the money — abut $600,000 – will go towards bringing a new well online to provide a supplemental water source to the town’s main reservoir, which sank to dangerously low level the past two summers during the summer and other warm periods. The remaining $100,000 will be put towards a metering station to measure rates of usage by residents of the water and fire districts, along with other studies, planning and engineering needs.
According to the Dorset Town Office, there is a 44 day appeal period for the bond vote ( a petition signed by 5 percent of the voters would be needed to hold a re-vote).
After the appeal period is concluded, the Prudential Board will finalize the financial arrangements with the lending institution so the design and construction of the new well, plus the other studies, can begin. The bond is estimated to cost residents of the fire and water districts about $38,500 annually in principle and interest payment costs over a 30 year period. The money will be repaid through fees on water use, not through taxes.
The plan is for the new well to become operational later this year, alleviating the recent history of water shortages and restrictions. Because of the water issues, the state of Vermont had placed a moratorium on new water hook ups. Property owners on the water system have been denied water and waste water permits for new home and business additions.
Andrew McKeever Photo
From left, Steve Jones, Ben Weiss, Milton McWayne, members of the Dorset Fire District Prudential Committee, and Town Manager Rob Gaiotti, answered questions at an informational meeting held at the Dorset Firehouse on May 7.