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Vote on West Cornwall wastewater project Nov. 20

CORNWALL — The project to install a wastewater system in West Cornwall is wending its way through a process that could bring federal funding to the town. In anticipation of that, the Board of Selectmen, met on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and established a schedule for residents to consider and vote on the project this fall.  

First Selectman Gordon Ridgway said the funding could cover 80% of the project. The funds are expected to be awarded in early December The project is in the House Appropriations Committee’s budget, currently awaiting Senate approval. 

For its part, the town must vote on the project before the end of the year. 

Steering clear of the Nov. 2 municipal elections, the selectmen selected the referendum target date of Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Building back from the projected referendum date, there must be a town meeting held two weeks before the referendum.  In advance of the town meeting, a public hearing would be scheduled in mid-October, allowing for the Cornwall Chronicle to publish details of the plan in its October issue.

Details would also be posted on the town’s website at the same time, and will be included in The Lakeville Journal.

This year there will be more stringent voting regulations in place, Ridgway said. 

If a voter is in town, voting must be done in person. Absentee ballots will only be available if the voter is not in town or has a medical condition preventing travel to the polling location. A concern about COVID-19 will no longer be accepted as a reason for voting absentee, he explained.

“It’s hard to peg town action on a potential Congressional vote,” Ridgway said, but if the town votes to authorize going ahead with the West Cornwall project, the project can them move forward if the approximately $3 million is awarded.

“This fall is the time to vote,” Ridgway said, adding that he has been in contact with the town’s bond counsel about the process and the timing. 

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