Beacon Falls officials eye funds for road, treatment plant improvements

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

A section of Rimmon Hill Road in Beacon Falls is deteriorating. Town officials are seeking approval from voters to borrow $5 million to make road improvements in town. –ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — Officials are seeking approval from voters to borrow up to $6 million to make improvements to roads and the wastewater treatment plant.

A town meeting is scheduled for Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. at Beacon Hose Co. No. 1, 35 North Main St., to vote on two separate resolutions to borrow the funds as well as three budget transfers.

Voters will be asked to approve a resolution to borrow up to $5 million for road repairs and related storm water drainage and sewer improvements.

Officials have been working on how to move forward with a large-scale project to repair roads in town for over a year.

“We have a plan to pave the long-neglected roads,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said.

The town hired StreetScan, Inc. of Burlington, Mass., in March 2019 to study the condition of roads in town to determine what work needs to be done to which roads. Pent Road and a section of Rimmon Hill Road are among the roads the company determined to be in poor condition.

Officials also plan to use some of the funds for work on Beacon Valley Road. The town has $500,000 from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) allocated for work on Beacon Valley Road, but officials said more is needed to complete the job.

Officials also want to borrow up to $1 million for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant on Lopus Road that will include electrical upgrades and a new generator.

The town’s 2020-21 budget includes $94,500 for the first interest payment due on borrowing the money.

Officials planned to vote on the resolutions when the 2020-21 budget was adopted, but held off due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The town meeting will be the first in-person meeting with the public since mid-March.

Smith said the town received approval from the Naugatuck Valley Health District to hold the town meeting as long as people exercise social distancing, unless they arrive together, and wear masks.

“We have to conduct business,” Smith said.

The town will also seek approval for three budget transfers that are more than $20,000.

Officials want to appropriate $30,000 from the undesignated fund balance to the non-recurring capital projects fund for coronavirus-related expenses. Officials previously transferred $19,999, the most that can be allocated without a town meeting, for expenses related to COVID-19.

Voters will also be asked to OK a transfer of $58,339 from the undesignated fund balance to the non-recurring capital projects fund to pay an outstanding invoice from Supreme Industries for cleanup following the tornado in 2018.

A budget transfer totaling $36,000 will be requested to cover police overtime costs in the 2019-20 budget. Officials have said the overtime stems from sharing a resident state trooper with Bethany. They said police officers had to cover shifts when the trooper was in Bethany.

Beacon Falls returned to a full-time resident state trooper this fiscal year.

2 COMMENTS

  1. For this vote, the Bond is not the most concerning issue. A State Representative candidate tested positive for COVID. He also met with the Beacon Falls Democratic Town Committee less than 14 days ago. I certainly hope DTC members who met with the Seymour Candidate are in quarantine for 14 days and are not present at Monday’s meeting. See for yourself: https://valley.newhavenindependent.org/archives/entry/seymour_candidate_for_state_representative_tested_positive_for_covid/

  2. Why do we continue to bond treatment plant projects when this could be self sufficient via user fees like all other municipalities? Please consider adding user fees or we’ll be forever stuck bonding anything for the plant. Look at nearly every other town/city in the state of CT. It’s unreasonable to expect the infrastructure to last forever and bond everything.