Norwich - The City Council unanimously approved five ordinances Monday that collectively call for $12.8 million in city bonding for improvements to the water system that will be paid for through rate increases already enacted by public utilities commissioners.
The council had put off voting on the proposals in January, keeping open public hearings on the proposals. While dozens of water customers had objected to the higher rates last spring, few people commented on the water projects those rates will fund.
The projects will be paid for entirely through the new water rate increases, which were in effect fully as of Jan. 1. NPU plans to fund the projects using low-cost revenue bonds through the state's clean water funds. The Board of Public Utilities Commissioners approved the bonding ordinances last week.
NPU General Manager John Bilda told the City Council the state required the city to approve the bonding for the water projects, although no tax money will be used for the project. He called the upgrades necessary for the city's aging water system. For example, the 5 million gallon storage tank at Mohegan Park no longer meets state public safety standards for water storage.
One ordinance calls for spending $2 million to improve contaminant removal systems and other upgrades at the Stony Brook Reservoir in Montville. Another ordinance calls for $2.8 million to build a new water tank at Mohegan Park. The third would spend $2.6 million to decommission the Royal Oaks pump station, and two ordinances call for rehabilitating and replacing water mains at the Stony Brook Reservoir, $2.8 million for the north transmission main and $2.6 million for the south main.