This is Peter Gold’s report on the December Representative Town Meeting. He is an RTM member writing for himself, and not in an official capacity.
January’s RTM meeting, one of the shortest ever, focused on keeping the town’s infrastructure in good shape. Legislators unanimously approved 2 sewer projects and 2 paving projects.
Sewer project #1 was an appropriation to $600,000 to replace the 1,100-foot, 40-year old force main pipe at Pump Station 5. The town’s sewer system includes 18 pump stations and 117 miles of sewer lines (16 miles are force mains). The new force main will permit the system to handle 650 gallons per minute. It will be paid for by the annual charges paid by all households connected to the sewer system.
Interestingly, the highest sewer flow in the year for Westport’s sewer system comes during half time of the Super Bowl.
The second project was $59,400, for an engineering design study to extend the sewer system to 37 homes on Whitney Street, Roseville Road, Fernwood Road, Plumtree Lane, Pamela Place and Ledgemoor Lane. The cost of the design study, plus the eventual construction cost of installing nearly a mile of pipe to expand the system, will be paid over 19 years by residents of those streets connecting to the sewer.
The sewer system is expanded if sufficient residents in the area request the extension. It must be within the sewer service area of the town (known as the “blue line”). Areas north of the Merritt Parkway are generally not within the line.
Next came approval of $295,000 to repave the upper lot at the library. The area between the library and Levitt Pavilion was last paved about 30 years ago.
Concerns were expressed about environmental issues that might arise due to the location on landfill, steps to be taken to prevent future settling of the lot, and proper disposal of the asphalt.
Pete Ratkiewich, town director of Public Works, explained that a rototiller-like machine would grind up the existing asphalt and mix it with the existing subsurface material. This would strengthen the base on which the new pavement would be laid, and help prevent future problems due to settling. The rototiller would not disturb the landfill material, which is located at a deeper level.
The paving project is expected to begin in the spring, and take 1 to 2 weeks. Plans are to complete the project before the Levitt opens in June.
The last item was $320,000 to repave the parking lot at the Senior Center. The lot was last paved 16 years ago, but is in poor condition. Work is also expected to begin in the spring.