$2 million bond for Windsor voters
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | March 02,2013
WINDSOR — Windsor Town Manager Tom Marsh said the wastewater treatment facility is a critical part of the town’s infrastructure. Now voters will have to decide whether it’s worth investing in an aging facility in need of renovations.
According to Marsh, the answer is yes.
“There’s been a high level of care to the facility over the years. But time has taken its toll and without these repairs we’d be looking at a critical failure,” Marsh said.
The town of Windsor has before it a big-ticket item on Town Meeting Day. It’s a $2 million bond for renovations to the town’s wastewater treatment facility. The article will be voted on by Australian ballot.
Marsh said the state suggests Vermont cities and towns conduct an analysis of wastewater treatment facilities every 20 years. The town of Windsor’s treatment plant is about 20 years old, and the analysis concluded it needed a complete overhaul.
The estimates came back at approximately $12 million to $13 million, but a project like that was out of the question, Marsh said. The town did another review and identified the plant’s most critical needs.
According to the study, the town needs a new digester, a section of the plant that takes sewage and breaks it down to generate methane gas, and storage tanks which Marsh estimates are 40 years old. The $2 million bond would go toward pipe upgrades, replacements and new containers.
Marsh said pending approval, the town will rebuild the clarifiers first and the digester next. He estimates that taxpayers will see an increase between 3 and 4 percent a year over the next few years to pay off the bond.
“It’s going to take 18 months to two years from where we are today to complete this stage,” Marsh said. “The second stage — where we’re doing repairs out of our capital plan — won’t impact ratepayers as much.”
Approximately 1,600 sewer customers are responsible for paying the bond, but the entire town votes on the bond question.
Windsor residents will vote on money matters at 7 p.m. Monday in the White Auditorium at Windsor High School. Voting at the polls, including the $2 million bond, will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Windsor Municipal Building at 29 Union St.