New Hartford town sign, from The New Hartford Facebook Page.
New Hartford town sign, from The New Hartford Facebook Page.
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NEW HARTFORD — A special town meeting will be held online on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss a town-wide referendum for a vote on whether or not to sell the town’s water and sewer assets.
The special town meeting, which will include a public hearing to discuss the selling of the town’s water and sewer assets, will be held via Zoom.
The referendum itself will be on Saturday, March 6 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For the referendum on March 6, residents in Voting District 1 can vote at Town Hall at 530 Main Street, while residents in Voting District 2 can vote at the South End Fire House at 20 Antolini Road.
The special town meeting and referendum vote is the near end of the process for the town to sell its water and sewer assets, which were originally announced at a meeting in January 2020.
The plan, as announced at the meeting, is for the town to sell its water and sewer assets to Aquarian Water Company for $8 million.
The reason for the town selling both assets is due to the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority being unable to sustain daily operations and debt repayment without losing money under the current schedule of operations fees that were made in June 2017.
The meeting and referendum were scheduled at a special Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
A per the draft document posted on the town’s website, the referendum also includes as listed “$3,600,000 for the design and construction of extensions and improvements to the sanitary sewer system in the Pine Meadow,” and a provision that would “…authorize the Board of Selectmen to take any and all actions and execute any and all documents as said board deems necessary or desirable to” implement the sale of the assets.
During the board’s discussion, First Selectman Daniel Jerram was asked if residents could be notified about the referendum via a postcard.
“Anything we put out will be subject to the magnifying glass of scrutiny that, in some way, shape, or form, some people might think that we have expended town funds to sway the vote,” Jerram said. “That’s against the rules. We’re not allowed to do that. You cannot say anything that can be construed, and you have to be very cautious. When you dip your toes in that water, the magnifying glass comes out.”
The Zoom address for the special town meeting will be posted on the town’s website.

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