BETHEL — Bethel selectmen have set October 15 as the date for a special Town Meeting to decide on funding proposed improvements to the Waste Water Treatment Plant that are expected to cost more than originally planned.
Residents will be asked if they wish to continue with design and construction for improvements that had already been approved. The work includes the construction of a building to house a dewatering machine, which consolidates sludge for easier disposal. Other improvements include new pumps, decking and a shed.
The WWTP’s capital improvement plan had budgeted earlier this year for borrowing approximately $400,000 and using another $400,000 in grant money from USDA Rural Development to fund the project.
But in July the board received bids significantly above their expectations. The bids came in at $1,714,300 from Apex Construction of New Hampshire and $1,494,769 from T. Buck Construction of Turner.
The selectmen voted in August to apply for additional grant money.
Voters will consider a new, higher budget for the project at the Oct. 15 meeting. They will decide whether to appropriate a sum not to exceed $1.2 million, which includes $485,000 in additional grant funds and a total of $718,000 in loans.
There are currently safety concerns at the plant, town officials have said, and the dewatering machine cannot be used in the winter and can only be run on sunny days.