Bethel’s $12.3 million water treatment project goes to voters at referendum next week

A referendum on funding for the proposed Bergstrom Well and Water Treatment Plant is set for Dec. 1. Of the roughly $12.3 million needed for the project, nearly $10 million would be for construction, roughly $1.8 million for professional services, about $499,000 for contingency and $16,000 for legal fees. Not all Bethel taxpayers would bear the cost — only those who get town water, according to Acting First Selectman Rich Straiton, who said there are 3,500 town water users in Bethel. Straiton said their water rates will go up, but it’s not yet known how much as the town is “applying for over $3 million in grants, which will help lower the cost.” The project is part of a 30-year capital improvement plan that the town embarked on after voters rejected a proposal to sell Bethel’s water system to Aquarion in 2013. If approved, construction on the project is expected to start in spring 2023 and take about two years to complete.

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