WILMINGTON — Expanding municipal water and sewer services could be good for business just outside of downtown.
Gretchen Havreluk, economic development consultant for the town, said a lot of commercial properties could benefit from the project.
The town hired Aldrich + Elliott, a water resource engineering firm based out of Essex Junction, to conduct a feasibility study that looked at expanding existing water and sewer infrastructure along Route 100 and Route 9 from around The White House Inn to Ballou Hill Road and about 600 feet south on Route 100 from the Route 9 intersection near the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Deerfield Valley Campus.
“The purpose of this expansion to promote development along the sizable properties located in this new service area,” the study states.
The town owns and operates wastewater utilities; drinking water utilities are currently owned and operated by the Wilmington Water District. In November, the town and district voted to transition ownership of the drinking water utility to the town. That will require approval from the Vermont Legislature, which is anticipated to happen in time for a dissolution in July.
The firm recommends a multi-phased approach to the proposed project, which includes adding a new 8-inch waterline, a new sewer collection system and a new wastewater pump station. It’s estimated to cost about $2.9 million.
At the Select Board meeting held remotely Tuesday, Wayne Elliott of Aldrich + Elliott said the project could likely get about $1.4 or $1.5 million in grant funding via the United States Economic Development Administration, and about $500,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission. He suggested the potential for financing from the Vermont Municipal Bond Bonk or United States Department of Agriculture.
Town officials spoke of using or seeking federal coronavirus relief funds for the project. A schedule in the study showed how the town could address different items before going to construction in 2023.