Vote on plant work awaits finance panel
Patrick Whittle, Register Staff     August 03, 2000

SEYMOUR — Improvements to the town’s sewage treatment plant will have to wait, for now. A town meeting to vote on a $185,000 municipal bond issue for sewer plant improvements was canceled Tuesday night because the Board of Finance had not yet approved a resolution

Finance board member Vincent Capece said the board lacked the necessary information to propose a workable resolution. 

One reason the finance board could not move forward is the delay in the release of a special audit of the town’s finances, said First Selectman Scott Barton. 

The Water Pollution Control Authority’s annual audit, due in October, also is expected to shed some light on the matter. 

"There is a lot of uncertainty with WPCA finances," Barton said. 

The Derby Avenue sewer plant is administered by the WPCA, which faces an annual $250,000 shortfall because current sewer use fees do not add up to the amount owed to plant operator U.S. Filter. 

In addition, the authority is missing $185,000 allocated for capital improvements, along with years of financial records. 

WPCA Chairman John Fanotto said he agreed with the decision to cancel the meeting until all financial questions are answered, which he said will be possible when Checkers International of Fairfield completes the special audit. 

"With the Checkers report, we will see where the money went and why," Fanotto said. 

"We know we need the money, but we need to know the reasons why." 

Barton and Fanotto both said the only solution to the authority’s financial woes is to raise sewer use rates. 

Barton said the inaccurate sewer use rates stem from problems with the previous administration. 

Barton said a public hearing will be held soon to make sure the new rates are accurate and will cover the cost of operations.