⏩ Dan­bury, New Mil­ford, New­town and Ridge­field ref­er­en­dum re­sults.


Vot­ers across the Dan­bury area sup­ported Tues­day spend­ing mil­lions to ren­o­vate their li­brary, build a new po­lice sta­tion and up­grade waste­water treat­ment plants in their towns.

In New Mil­ford, res­i­dents ap­proved a $6.5 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion to its li­brary. The pro­ject had failed twice be­fore, but passed 7,780 to

3,290 this time.

“We are so grate­ful to the town com­ing through for us,” Li­brary Di­rec­tor Sally Tornow said. “It re­ally shows we’re needed.”

The li­brary will grow from 15,000 square feet to

22,000 square feet, adding meet­ing space as well as ex­pand­ing and mov­ing the chil­dren and young adult sec­tions.

The plan will bring the li­brary into com­pli­ance with the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act.

Li­brary of­fi­cials ex­pect to hear at the end of the month whether the li­brary will re­ceive a $1 mil­lion state grant to help with the over­all $8.5 mil­lion con­struc­tion.

Waste­water treat­ment

Both Dan­bury and Ridge­field sup­ported projects for their waste­water treat­ment plants.

Dan­bury res­i­dents voted

15,207 to 3,222 in fa­vor of the

$102.6 mil­lion up­grade to the plant, which has not had ma­jor im­prove­ments in 25 years.

New state en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­charge reg­u­la­tions re­quire a mas­sive re­build of the ex­ist­ing sys­tems.

Dan­bury of­fi­cials un­suc­cess­fully bat­tled those reg­u­la­tions in court for years and must com­plete the up­grades by 2022, in­clud­ing hav­ing a com­plete de­sign by July 1 to re­ceive 10s of mil­lions in state fund­ing.

“I’m glad the vot­ers agreed with us that we have to move for­ward with this,” Mayor Mark Boughton said. “We’re al­ready into it in terms of de­sign and to meet our goal of get­ting it into the state to meet its dead­line and re­ceive our state fund­ing.”

Ridge­field’s $48 mil­lion pro­ject for the town’s sewer sys­tem passed by a vote of

7,067 to 4,687.

These up­grades will bring the sys­tem into com­pli­ance with new state and fed­eral guidelines.

Un­der the plan, the Route

7 fa­cil­ity will be closed and the 120,000 gal­lons it treats per day will be pumped to the South Street fa­cil­ity, which will be up­graded.

“Waste­water in­fra­struc­ture is of­ten out of sight and out of mind, so we are grate­ful that peo­ple rec­og­nized its value as they came out to vote (Tues­day),” Amy Siebert, chair of the Wa­ter Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Author­ity, said.

The town is seek­ing $11.5 mil­lion in grants for the work, but the rest of the pro­ject will be cov­ered by in­creased sewer rates and

$8 mil­lion from the general tax­pay­ers.

Po­lice sta­tion

In New­town, vot­ers ap­proved $14.8 mil­lion for a new po­lice sta­tion, and to buy land on South Main Street and Peck’s Lane for the new head­quar­ters.

The ref­er­en­dum passed with about 62 per­cent of the vote, First Select­man Dan Rosenthal said.

“It’s a nice mes­sage to send to the men and woman of the po­lice de­part­ment that vot­ers backed the plan,” Rosenthal said.

The ex­ist­ing build­ing on South Main Street is in dis­re­pair and too small for the de­part­ment, which has more than dou­bled its of­fi­cers since the old sta­tion was built in the early 1980s.

Char­ter re­vi­sions

In Ridge­field, vot­ers re­sound­ingly passed a con­tro­ver­sial plan to sep­a­rate the In­land Wet­lands Board from the Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion. The cur­rent sys­tem has the same nine mem­bers act­ing as both the board and the com­mis­sion.

But three of the nine char­ter ques­tions failed — in­clud­ing pro­pos­als to make the town trea­surer and tax col­lec­tor po­si­tions ap­pointed in­stead of elected and a re­quire­ment to have 2 per­cent of the voter pop­u­la­tion present at the annual bud­get meet­ing to make a change to the town or school bud­get.

Among other ques­tions that passed was a rule pro­hibit­ing can­di­dates from run­ning for more than one elected of­fice with over­lap­ping terms at once, which had caused con­fu­sion after the 2017 elec­tions.

In New Mil­ford, res­i­dents ap­proved char­ter re­vi­sions that dealt with town fi­nances and the fi­nance board, with other changes clean­ing up the language.

Un­der one change, a failed bud­get will go back to the fi­nance board and only the re­jected bud­get would be changed. Pre­vi­ously, the Town Coun­cil could re­vise both the schools and town bud­gets if one of them failed.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Ridge­field’s waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity on Route 7 will be closed and the South Street fa­cil­ity will be up­graded.

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