The next RTM meeting is on Tuesday, April 3rd at 7:30 pm in Town Hall (110 Myrtle Avenue). You can watch the meeting on Cablevision channel 79, Frontier channel 99, or online here. You can see the official agenda by clicking here. Disclaimer: What’s below is my interpretation of the agenda and not an official communication from the RTM.
In short, the RTM will discuss the following issues:
- Whether to approve a $2,750,000 appropriation (and related bond and note authorization) to extend the sewer line to homes on 8 streets.
- Whether to approve a $23,000 appropriation for a new filter for the smaller, "training pool" at Longshore.
- Whether to approve a $102,000 appropriation for the replacement of the outer "T-head" dock at E.R. Strait Marina.
- The first reading of a proposed ordinance to ban marijuana-related businesses in Westport, excluding medical marijuana dispensaries.
AGENDA ITEM #1: Whether to approve a $2,750,000 appropriation (and related bond and note authorization) to extend the sewer line to homes on 8 streets:
In 2016, at least 75% of the homeowners on Clinton Avenue, Fillow Street, Breezy Knoll, Richmondville Avenue, Sniffen Road, Loren Lane, Calumet Road, and Stone Drive submitted a petition to extend sewer service to their homes. The P&Z issued a positive report on the sewer extension on June 1, 2017.
The Director of Public works has requested an appropriation of $2,750,000 to construct the sewer extension, and the Board of Finance has recommended the appropriation. This appropriation shouldn’t affect the mill rate. The $2,750,000 would come from an account that is fully funded by sewer users. The homes on the 8 streets at issue will pay a higher sewer fee to the town for approximately 20 years, and these payments will cover the cost of construction plus interest. Like other homes using the sewer system, the residents will also pay the regular fees for system-wide improvements and repairs.
For more information on the process to extend the sewer lines, you can read pages 5-17 of this document.
AGENDA ITEM #2: Whether to approve a $23,000 appropriation for a new filter for the smaller “training pool” at Longshore:
The current sand filter in the smaller, shallow “training pool” at Longshore is 21 years old, and these filters are usually replaced after 15 years. The Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation ("Parks & Rec") has requested an appropriation of $23,000 replace it with a “Sta-Rite” cartridge filter. This amount also covers replacement plumbing, installation, and other related costs. The Sta-Rite cartridge filter has the same life expectancy as the sand filter it would be replacing, but it costs approximately $10,000 less and the replacement cartridges are half the cost of the sand cartridges for the same time period.
Although 33 entities downloaded the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for this work, only one party submitted a bid. According to the Director of Parks & Rec, it is likely that no other contractors submitted a bid because the filter replacement is a relatively small but difficult job given the pool’s location. The bidder has done other work on the Longshore pools.
AGENDA ITEM #3: Whether to approve a $102,000 appropriation for the replacement of the outer “T-head” dock at E.R. Strait Marina:
The T-head is the end of a dock where visiting boats pull up, and it also bears the brunt of any storm. The particular T-head at issue was damaged during Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy, and at least 2 “wind events,” the most recent of which occurred this past fall. The town solicited bids for both repair and replacement, which were $47,883 and $101,656, respectively.
The Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation believes that replacement is in the town’s best interest because: (1) the structural integrity of the dock is compromised due to the collective damage from the different weather events and would likely be further damaged in future storms, (2) the dock is already 15 years old, and (3) the new dock would have a more substantial bracket system and technology that includes a wave attenuator, which helps disperse wave energy and prevents future damage.
This appropriation would come from an account that books revenue from boat slip holders. Insurance will pay for at least part of the replacement, but the total amount it is yet to be determined.
AGENDA ITEM #4: The first reading of a proposed ordinance to ban marijuana-related businesses in Westport, excluding medical marijuana dispensaries:
RTM members Greg Kraut and Andrew Colabella are sponsoring a new ordinance that would ban marijuana-related businesses in Westport, other than P&Z-approved medical marijuana dispensaries:
No marijuana business may be located in Westport. For purposes of this section, a marijuana business shall include, but shall not be limited to, marijuana cultivators, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana product manufacturers, marijuana wholesalers, marijuana retailers (other than a medical marijuana dispensary established and operated pursuant to Section 32-35 of the Town of Westport Zoning Regulations) or any other type of marijuana-related business.
Mr. Kraut and Mr. Colabella are proposing this bill as a proactive measure given that the State of Connecticut might legalize recreational marijuana in the future.
The first step of this process is a “first reading” of the proposed ordinance at the RTM Meeting. After that, the ordinance could go to the RTM Ordinance Committee for consideration.
Disclaimer: This post has been my interpretation of the agenda and not an official communication from the RTM. You can view the official meeting agenda here.