Water continues to be on the minds of Pomfret officials.
At the Pomfret Town Board workshop, ongoing concerns and questions over the current draft proposal of the water district agreement with the Village of Fredonia were discussed but no actions taken.
Town Supervisor Don Steger said he believed a final contract would be available next week.
"They want to finalize this Monday night. That's my understanding," Steger said.
Several board members expressed an interest in meeting with officials from the village of Fredonia while some interest in accepting the terms in their current state was also expressed.
"Our lawyer has been good about showing us where we need to be concerned. It seems like those concerns have been addressed," Councilwoman Ann Eckman said.
Councilman David Penharlow had concerns about some terms of the contract he felt had not yet been addressed. "If we are in fact in violation of the agreement, then what is their remedy for the violation? Terminate our contract?" he asked.
"This is a 30-year contract. That's a long time. Some of these are things that might seem relatively minor, I think they at least deserve a talking through," Penharlow continued.
He also noted they were working on a draft.
"We can't act on a draft. We can't have Don (Steger) sign off on a draft. I think we need to all meet together. We haven't done that yet. We haven't met as a board to go through this page by page. We haven't met with the village to do that, with all of us in the same room and both of our attorneys," Penharlow stated. "I think we need to do that."
Contract negotiations over the water district have been ongoing for many years between village and town boards which have had membership changes along the way.
"The longer we take to say yes to it, the more time they have to add to it," Johnston mused.
Other concerns were aired about road weight limits and timber harvesting by the village at the reservoir.
Steger said there is a vehicle and traffic law issue with bringing heavy trucks in to remove logs, and expressed concern about damage to the road.
"Because of a clause in the conservation district, I said they were in violation of the conservation district because they didn't apply for a special use permit to harvest lumber," he said and noted a letter asking the village to bond the road to cover damage.
Correspondence from the village, separate from the draft contract, requests unrestricted access to harvest the lumber.
"I don't accept this, at least not in its current form," Steger said of the terms of harvesting timber at the reservoir.
When contacted after the meeting, Fredonia Trustee Joseph Cerrie, who was not in attendance, said the May draft of the contract was the final revision as far as the village was concerned. Cerrie also stated timber has been harvested at the reservoir for about 15 years.
"This isn't something new. Removing the trees is for us to be able to protect the reservoir. The Town of Pomfret helped us build that road," Cerrie said. "We have a study from six or seven years ago which requires us to remove them to maintain the reservoir, so that we can provide water. We're not going to just throw out the trees."
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